Efficacy and safety of neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) with paclitaxel plus carboplatin and oral metronomic chemotherapy (OMCT) in patients with technically unresectable oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC)

2 Dec 2021
Lakhan Kashyap, Vijay Patil, Vanita Noronha, Amit Joshi, Nandini Menon, Kunal Jobanputra, Saswata Saha, Pankaj Chaturvedi, Shripad D Banavali, Kumar Prabhash

A combination of maximum tolerated dose and metronomic chemotherapy schedule may lead to synergistic effects with acceptable toxicity. We assessed the efficacy and safety of this combination as neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) in 14 patients with technically unresectable oral squamous cell carcinoma. They received NACT with paclitaxel-carboplatin and triple oral metronomic chemotherapy (OMCT) (methotrexate, celecoxib and erlotinib). Patients were assessed clinically and radiologically after a minimum of two cycles for resectability. Primary tumour site was buccal mucosa and oral tongue in 12 (86%) and 2 (14%) patients, respectively. The median number of NACT administered was three. The tumours of nine (65%) patients showed partial response and none of the patients had tumour progression. The tumours of nine patients (65%) were deemed resectable after NACT. Median progression free survival was 11.4 months (95% CI = 7.9–15 months) and median overall survival (OS) was not reached. OS at 15 months was 63.5% (95% CI = 37.8%–89.2%). Grade 3 or 4 haematological toxicities were seen in eight (57%) patients. Paclitaxel-carboplatin combined with OMCT is a well-tolerated and less resource intensive NACT regimen which leads to favourable resection rate and survival.

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