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RATIONALE: Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to kill tumor cells and shrink tumors.
Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as cisplatin, work in different ways to stop the growth of
tumor cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. Monoclonal
antibodies, such as cetuximab, can block tumor growth in different ways. Some block the
ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Others find tumor cells and help kill them or
carry tumor-killing substances to them. It is not yet known whether radiation therapy is
more effective with cisplatin or cetuximab in treating oropharyngeal cancer.
PURPOSE: This phase III trial is studying radiation therapy with cisplatin or cetuximab to
see how well it works in treating patients with oropharyngeal cancer.
Active, not recruiting
Ages:18 - 120
DISEASE CHARACTERISTICS: - Pathologically (histologically or cytologically) proven diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma (including the histological variants papillary squamous cell carcinoma and basaloid squamous cell carcinoma) of the oropharynx (tonsil, base of tongue, soft palate, or oropharyngeal walls) - No cancer from an oral cavity site (oral tongue, floor mouth, alveolar ridge, buccal, or lip), nasopharynx, hypopharynx, or larynx, even if p16 positive - No carcinoma of the neck of unknown primary site origin (even if p16 positive) - Cytologic diagnosis from a cervical lymph node is sufficient in the presence of clinical evidence of a primary tumor in the oropharynx - Clinical evidence should be documented; may consist of palpation, imaging, or endoscopic evaluation; and should be sufficient to estimate the size of the primary (for T stage) - No distant metastasis or adenopathy below the clavicles - Patients must be positive for p16, determined by the OSU Innovation Center CLIA lab prior to step 2 registration (randomization) - Paraffin-embedded cytology specimens are acceptable for p16 evaluation, but cytology smears are not - Patients must have clinically or radiographically evident measurable disease at the primary site or at nodal stations - Tonsillectomy or local excision of the primary without removal of nodal disease is permitted, as is excision removing gross nodal disease but with intact primary site - Limited neck dissections retrieving ≤ 4 nodes are permitted and considered as non-therapeutic nodal excisions - Fine-needle aspirations of the neck are insufficient due to limited tissue for retrospective central review - Biopsy specimens from the primary or nodes measuring at least 3-5 mm are required - Clinical stage T1-2 N2a-N3 or T3-4 any N, including no distant metastases - No clinical stage T1-2 N0-1 - No simultaneous primaries or bilateral tumors PATIENT CHARACTERISTICS: - Zubrod performance status 0-1 - ANC ≥ 1,500/mm³ - Platelet count ≥ 100,000/mm³ - Hemoglobin (Hgb) ≥ 8.0 g/dL (transfusion or other intervention to achieve Hgb ≥ 8.0 g/dL is acceptable) - Bilirubin ≤ 2 mg/dL - AST or ALT ≤ 3 times upper limit of normal - Serum creatinine ≤ 1.5 mg/dL OR creatinine clearance ≥ 50 mL/min - Negative pregnancy test - Women of childbearing potential and male participants must agree to use a medically effective means of birth control throughout their participation in the treatment phase of the study, and until at least 60 days following the last study treatment - Patients who are HIV-positive and have no prior AIDS-defining illness and have CD4 cells of at least 340/mm³ are eligible - HIV status must be known prior to registration - No multidrug resistance for HIV infection - Not seropositive for hepatitis B (hepatitis B surface antigen positive or anti-hepatitis B core antigen positive) or hepatitis C (anti-hepatitis C antibody positive) - Immunity to hepatitis B (anti-hepatitis B surface antibody positive) allowed - No prior invasive malignancy except non-melanoma skin cancer, or malignancy for which the patient has been disease-free for at least 3 years (e.g., carcinoma in situ of the breast, oral cavity, or cervix) - No severe, active co-morbidity, defined as any of the following: - Unstable angina and/or congestive heart failure requiring hospitalization within the last 6 months - Acute bacterial or fungal infection requiring intravenous antibiotics at the time of registration - Transmural myocardial infarction within the last 6 months - Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exacerbation or other respiratory illness requiring hospitalization or precluding study therapy within 30 days of registration - Hepatic insufficiency resulting in clinical jaundice and/or coagulation defects - Laboratory tests for liver function and coagulation parameters are not required for entry into this protocol - Immunocompromised patients - No prior allergic reaction to cisplatin or cetuximab PRIOR CONCURRENT THERAPY: - See Disease Characteristics - No prior systemic chemotherapy for the study cancer - Prior chemotherapy for a different cancer allowed - No prior radiotherapy to the region of the study cancer that would result in overlap of radiation therapy fields - No prior cetuximab or other anti-EGFR therapy - No concurrent amifostine as a radioprotector - No concurrent granulocyte colony-stimulating factor or erythropoietin
Sponsor: Radiation Therapy Oncology Group
Phase: Phase 3
Trial ID: NCT01302834
Not Accepting Healthy Volunteers