Treatment for Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer
Name of the Trial
Why This Trial Is Important
This trial will enroll patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, oropharynx, or hypopharynx. "Locally advanced" means that the cancer has spread to nearby tissues or lymph nodes but not elsewhere. All patients will be treated with radiotherapy and the chemotherapy drug cisplatin. In addition, half of the patients will be treated with a monoclonal antibody called cetuximab.
Cetuximab targets a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), which is found in excess amounts on the surface of many cancer cells. Blocking the activity of EGFR may inhibit a tumor's ability to grow. In a previous trial, adding cetuximab to radiotherapy significantly improved the survival of patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer (see related article). Researchers want to know if adding cetuximab to radiotherapy and cisplatin treatment will help patients live longer without their cancer recurring.
"Earlier trials have proven that combining radiation with either cisplatin or cetuximab decreases the likelihood of recurrence," said Dr. Ang. "With this trial, we hope to see if combining radiation with both agents further improves disease-free survival."
Who Can Join This Trial
Study Site and Contact Information
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