Lay Summary: Erbitux or platin with radiation or induction chemotehrapy followed by one of these two options with radiation is the standard of care. One study described the combination of the two.
The best quality data in head and neck cancer for locally advanced disease are available for cetuximab since the 2006 publication of a randomized clinical trial comparing radiation treatment plus cetuximab versus radiation treatment alone. This study found that concurrent cetuximab and radiotherapy improves survival and locoregional disease control compared to radiotherapy alone, without a substantial increase in side effects, as would be expected with the concurrent chemoradiotherapy, which is the current gold standard treatment for advanced head and neck cancer. NCCN on p. CHEM-A, recommends cetuximab with radiation as an option.
Bonner J, Harari P, Giralt J, Azarnia N, Shin D, Cohen R, Jones C, Sur R, Raben D, Jassem J, Ove R, Kies M, Baselga J, Youssoufian H, Amellal N, Rowinsky E, Ang K (2006). “Radiotherapy plus cetuximab for squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck”. N Engl J Med 354 (6): 567-78. 2006
Pfister DG, Su YB, Kraus DH, Wolden SL, Lis E, Aliff TB, Zahalsky AJ, Lake S, Needle MN, Shaha AR, Shah JP, Zelefsky MJ.Concurrent cetuximab, cisplatin, and concomitant boost radiotherapy for locoregionally advanced, squamous cell head and neck cancer: a pilot phase II study of a new combined-modality paradigm.J Clin Oncol. 2006 Mar 1;24(7):1072-8.
nccn.org, Head and Neck, 2013
Erbitux, Prescribing INformation, 2013
Conley, Barbara A.
Treatment of Advanced Head and Neck Cancer: What Lessons Have We Learned?
J Clin Oncol 2006 24: 1023-1025