Study Suggests Chemo Drug Combo May Preserve Larynx in Advanced Cancers

by: cancercompass

A new study suggests a combination of three chemotherapy drugs followed by radiotherapy may preserve the larynx of patients with advanced larynx and hypopharynx cancers.

The study, recently published by The National Cancer Institute, was conducted by French researchers who analyzed whether adding the cancer drug docetaxel to an existing chemotherapy treatment of cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil was more effective at preserving the larynx when followed by radiotherapy.

Researchers randomly assigned patients whose cancer required a total laryngectomy to receive three cycles of cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil, or the new mixture containing those two cancer drugs plus docetaxel. Patients who did not respond to chemotherapy underwent surgery.

Results of the study revealed a three-year actuarial larynx preservation rate of 70.3% with all three cancer drugs versus 57.5% with the cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil combination.

Patients who received all three chemotherapy drugs had the following side effects: grade 2 alopecia, grade 4 neutropenia and febrile neutropenia. Researchers noticed that patients taking only the two chemotherapy drugs had more grade 3 and 4 stomatitis, thrombocytopenia, and grade 4 creatinine elevation.

Overall, patients taking all three chemotherapy drugs had an 80% response rate, while the other group experienced a 59.2% response rate.