Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy With or Without Surgery in Treating Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

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Basic Trial Information

PhaseTypeStatusAgeSponsorProtocol IDs
Phase IIITreatmentClosed18 and overNCI, OtherRTOG 0129
CDR0000257233, RTOG-H-0129, RTOG-DEV-1069, NCT00047008

Trial Description


RATIONALE: Radiation therapy (RT) uses high-energy x-rays to damage tumor cells. Giving radiation therapy in different ways and combining it with chemotherapy before surgery may kill more tumor cells. It is not yet known which radiation therapy regimen combined with chemotherapy with or without surgery is more effective for head and neck cancer.

PURPOSE: Randomized phase III trial to compare two different radiation therapy regimens combined with cisplatin with or without surgery in treating patients who have stage III or stage IV head and neck cancer.

Further Study Information



  • Compare overall survival of patients with stage III or IV squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with conventional vs accelerated radiotherapy and concurrent cisplatin with or without surgical resection.


  • Compare local-regional control of disease and disease-free rates in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Compare the acute and late toxicity of these regimens in these patients.
  • Compare quality of life, perception of side effects, and performance status of patients treated with these regimens.
  • Determine whether epidermal growth factor receptor and cyclo-oxygenase-2 expressions are independent prognostic markers in patients treated with these regimens.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to tumor site (larynx vs other), nodal stage (N0 vs N1 or N2a or N2b vs N2c or N3), and Zubrod performance status (0 vs 1). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients undergo standard fractionation radiotherapy 5 days a week for 7 weeks. Patients also receive cisplatin IV on days 1, 22, and 43.
  • Arm II: Patients undergo accelerated fractionation radiotherapy 5 days a week for 3.5 weeks and then twice a day, 5 days a week, for 2.5 weeks. Patients also receive cisplatin IV on days 1 and 22.

Patients with biopsy-proven relapsed disease more than 3 months after completion of therapy undergo surgical resection of the primary tumor.

Quality of life is assessed at baseline, during one of the last 2 weeks of treatment, at 3 and 12 months, and then annually for 4 years.

Patients are followed at 6-8 weeks, every 3 months for 2 years, every 6 months for 3 years, and then annually thereafter.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 720 patients (360 per treatment arm) will be accrued for this study within 3 years.

Eligibility Criteria


  • Histologically confirmed squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, oropharynx, hypopharynx, or larynx
  • Stage III or IV (T2, N2-3, M0 or T3-4, any N, M0)
  • No metastases below the clavicle or more distant by clinical exam or radiology



  • 18 and over

Performance status

  • Zubrod 0-1

Life expectancy

  • Not specified


  • Absolute granulocyte count at least 2,000/mm^3
  • Platelet count at least 100,000/mm^3


  • Bilirubin no greater than 1.5 mg/dL
  • Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) no greater than 2 times upper limit of normal


  • Creatinine no greater than 1.5 mg/dL
  • Creatinine clearance at least 50 mL/min
  • Calcium normal


  • No symptomatic coronary artery disease (angina)
  • No myocardial infarction within the past 6 months


  • No other invasive malignancy within the past 3 years except nonmelanoma skin cancer
  • No simultaneous primary tumors
  • Not pregnant or nursing
  • Negative pregnancy test
  • Fertile patients must use effective contraception


Biologic therapy

  • Not specified


  • No prior chemotherapy

Endocrine therapy

  • Not specified


  • No prior radiotherapy to the head and neck except radioactive iodine therapy


  • No prior surgery to the primary tumor or nodes except diagnostic biopsy or nodal sampling of neck disease
  • No radical or modified neck dissection

Trial Contact Information

Trial Lead Organizations/Sponsors

Radiation Therapy Oncology Group

  • National Cancer Institute
  • NRG Oncology
Phuc Felix Nguyen-Tan, MD, Principal Investigator

Link to the current record.
NLM Identifier NCT00047008 processed this data on November 12, 2014

Note: Information about this trial is from the database. The versions designated for health professionals and patients contain the same text. Minor changes may be made to the record to standardize the names of study sponsors, sites, and contacts. only lists sites that are recruiting patients for active trials, whereas lists all sites for all trials. Questions and comments regarding the presented information should be directed to