GST (Gefitinib as Salvage Treatment) in Pretreated Head and Neck Squamous Cell Cancer

Author(s): Faraz Khan, Manas Dubey, Rajeev Atri, Vivek Kaushal, Rakesh Dhankhar, Anil Kr Dhull

Purpose: To determine the efficacy and safety profiles of GST (gefitinib as salavage therapy) in patients with advanced recurrent, residual and/or metastatic squamous cell cancer of the head and neck (HNSCC).

Subjects and Methods: Patients with recurrent, residual, or metastatic (R/R/M) HNSCC, were treated with gefitinib 250mg orally daily for 3 weeks.

Results and Conclusion: Partial response (PR) was noted in 10% of patients, median progression free survival (PFS) was 3.3 months. Anemia was observed in 16.7% of patients, toxicity related to total leucocyte count grade I,II &III toxicities were observed in 20%, 3.3% and 0%. Only grade I hepatic toxicity was observed in 20%. No case of renal toxicity was seen. Grade I-II upper gastrointestinal toxicity (nausea/ vomiting) was noted in 13.3% patients. Lower gastrointestinal toxicity (diarrhea) was observed in 46.7% of patients. Skin rash was graded and 8 (26.7%) patients demonstrated skin reactions. Overall survival (OS) was 4 months. Gefitinib was well tolerated in this heavily pretreated HNSCC population and produced prolonged disease stabilization.

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