Primary chemoradiation with cisplatin versus cetuximab for locally advanced head and neck cancer: a retrospective cohort study

Head and Neck Cancer

Exp Hematol Oncol. 2020 Aug 5;9:19. doi: 10.1186/s40164-020-00175-1. eCollection 2020.


OBJECTIVE: To explore the efficacy of primary chemoradiation with cisplatin versus cetuximab with respect to HPV/p16 and smoking statuses.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed patients from our center with locally advanced non-nasopharyngeal head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) who received primary chemoradiation with cisplatin or cetuximab between 2006 and 2018.

RESULTS: The median OS for cisplatin (n = 66) was not reached versus 132 months when treated with cetuximab (n = 55) (p = 0.03). For HPV/p16-positive patients, we found the median OS for cisplatin (n = 34) was not reached versus 60 months with cetuximab (n = 21) (p = 0.036). In the smoking group, the median OS was not reached in the cisplatin group (n = 44) versus 60 months when treated with cetuximab (n = 32) (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSION: HPV/p16-positive and smoking cohorts treated with cisplatin-based chemoradiotherapy had a significantly better OS versus cetuximab.