Reduced-Dose Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy With or Without Cisplatin in Treating Patients With Advanced Oropharyngeal Cancer

Not Recruiting

Trial ID: NCT02254278


This randomized phase II trial studies the side effects and how well modestly reduced-dose intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with or without cisplatin works in treating patients with oropharyngeal cancer that has spread to other places in the body (advanced). Radiation therapy uses high energy x rays to kill tumor cells. Drugs used in chemotherapy, such as cisplatin, work in different ways to stop the growth of tumor cells, either by killing the cells, by stopping them from dividing, or by stopping them from spreading. It is not yet known whether IMRT is more effective with or without cisplatin in treating patients with oropharyngeal cancer.

Official Title

A Randomized Phase II Trial for Patients With p16 Positive, Non-Smoking Associated, Locoregionally Advanced Oropharyngeal Cancer

Stanford Investigator(s)

Quynh-Thu Le, MD
Quynh-Thu Le, MD

Katharine Dexter McCormick and Stanley McCormick Memorial Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS)

A. Dimitrios Colevas, MD
A. Dimitrios Colevas, MD

Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and, by courtesy, of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (OHNS) and of Radiation Oncology (Radiation Therapy)


Inclusion Criteria

Step 1: Registration:

   1. 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); 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).

   2. 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.

   3. Immunohistochemical staining for p16 must be performed on tissue, and this tissue must
   be submitted for central review. Fine needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy specimens may be
   used as the sole diagnostic tissue if formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded cell block
   material is available for p16 immunohistochemistry. FNA specimens prepared with
   adequate p16 testing in this manner are acceptable to submit for central review. If
   the p16 preparation is not adequate, additional specimens will be required to
   establish p16 status. Centers are encouraged to contact the pathology chairs for

   4. Clinical stage T1-T2, N1-N2b or T3, N0-N2b (AJCC, 7th ed.) including no distant
   metastases based on the following diagnostic workup:

      - General history and physical examination within 56 days prior to registration;

      - Fiberoptic exam with laryngopharyngoscopy (mirror and/or fiberoptic and/or direct
      procedure) within 70 days prior to registration;

      - One of the following combinations of imaging is required within 56 days prior to

         1. A computed tomography (CT) scan of the neck (with contrast) and a chest CT
         scan (with or without contrast);

         2. or an MRI of the neck (with contrast) and a chest CT scan (with or without

         3. or a CT scan of neck (with contrast) and a PET/CT of neck and chest (with or
         without contrast);

         4. or an MRI of the neck (with contrast) and a PET/CT of neck and chest (with
         or without contrast).

   Note: A CT scan of neck and/or a PET/CT performed for the purposes of radiation
   planning may serve as both staging and planning tools.

   5. Patients must provide their personal smoking history prior to registration. The
   lifetime cumulative history cannot exceed 10 pack-years. The following formula is used
   to calculate the pack-years during the periods of smoking in the patient's life; the
   cumulative total of the number of pack-years during each period of active smoking is
   the lifetime cumulative history.

   Number of pack-years = [Frequency of smoking (number of cigarettes per day) × duration
   of cigarette smoking (years)] / 20

   Note: Twenty cigarettes is considered equivalent to one pack. The effect of
   non-cigarette tobacco products on the survival of patients with p16-positive
   oropharyngeal cancers is undefined. While there are reportedly increased risks of head
   and neck cancer associated with sustained heavy cigar and pipe use (Wyss 2013), such
   sustained use of non-cigarette products is unusual and does not appear to convey added
   risk with synchronous cigarette smoking. Cigar and pipe tobacco consumption is
   therefore not included in calculating the lifetime pack-years. Marijuana consumption
   is likewise not considered in this calculation. There is no clear scientific evidence
   regarding the role of chewing tobacco-containing products in this disease, although
   this is possibly more concerning given the proximity of the oral cavity and
   oropharynx. In any case, investigators are discouraged from enrolling patients with a
   history of very sustained use (such as several years or more) of non-cigarette tobacco
   products alone.

   6. Zubrod Performance Status of 0-1 within 56 days prior to registration;

   7. Age ≥ 18;

   8. The trial is open to both genders;

   9. Adequate hematologic function within 14 days prior to registration, defined as

      - Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥ 1,500 cells/mm3;

      - Platelets ≥ 100,000 cells/mm3;

      - Hemoglobin (Hgb) ≥ 8.0 g/dl; Note: The use of transfusion or other intervention
      to achieve Hgb ≥ 8.0 g/dl is acceptable.

10. Adequate renal function within 14 days prior to registration, defined as follows:

   • Serum creatinine (Cr) < 1.5 mg/dl or creatinine clearance (CC) ≥ 50 ml/min
   determined by 24-hour collection or estimated by Cockcroft-Gault formula:

      - CC male = [(140 - age) x (wt in kg)] / [(Serum Cr mg/dl) x (72)]

      - CC female = 0.85 x (CC male)

11. Adequate hepatic function within 14 days prior to registration defined as follows:

      - Bilirubin < 2 mg/dl;

      - Aspartate transaminase (AST) or alanine transaminase (ALT) < 3 x the upper limit
      of normal.

12. Negative serum pregnancy test within 14 days prior to registration for women of
   childbearing potential;

13. Patients who are HIV positive but have no prior Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
   (AIDS) -defining illness and have CD4 cells of at least 350/mm3 are eligible.
   HIV-positive patients must not have multi-drug resistant HIV infection or other
   concurrent AIDS-defining conditions. Patients must not be sero-positive for Hepatitis
   B (Hepatitis B surface antigen positive or anti-hepatitis B core antigen positive) or
   sero-positive for Hepatitis C (anti-Hepatitis C antibody positive). However, patients
   who are immune to hepatitis B (anti-Hepatitis B surface antibody positive) are
   eligible (e.g. patients immunized against hepatitis B).

14. The patient must provide study-specific informed consent prior to study entry,
   including consent for mandatory submission of tissue for required, central p16 review.

15. Patients who speak English (or read one of the languages for which a translation is
   available (see Section 10.2) must consent to complete the mandatory dysphagia-related
   patient reported instrument (MDADI). If the patient cannot understand spoken English
   and reads only languages not available in the MDADI translations, the patient can
   still participate in the trial, as this has been factored into the trial statistics.
   For all other patients, the MDADI is mandatory as it is included in the primary
   endpoint to be studied.

   Step 2: Randomization:

16. p16 positive by immunohistochemistry (defined as greater than 70% strong nuclear or
   nuclear and cytoplasmic staining of tumor cells), confirmed by central pathology
   review; (see Section 10.1 for details).

Exclusion Criteria

Step 1: Registration:

   1. Cancers considered to be from an oral cavity site (oral tongue, floor mouth, alveolar
   ridge, buccal or lip), or the nasopharynx, hypopharynx, or larynx, even if p16
   positive, or histologies of adenosquamous, verrucous, or spindle cell carcinomas;

   2. Carcinoma of the neck of unknown primary site origin (even if p16 positive);

   3. Radiographically matted nodes, defined as 3 abutting nodes with loss of the
   intervening fat plane;

   4. Supraclavicular nodes, defined as nodes visualized on the same axial imaging slice as
   the clavicle;

   5. Definitive clinical or radiologic evidence of metastatic disease or adenopathy below
   the clavicles;

   6. Gross total excision of both primary and nodal disease with curative intent; this
   includes tonsillectomy, local excision of primary site, and nodal excision that
   removes all clinically and radiographically evident disease. In other words, to
   participate in this protocol, the patient must have clinically or radiographically
   evident gross disease for which disease response can be assessed.

   7. Patients with simultaneous primary cancers or separate bilateral primary tumor sites
   are excluded with the exception of patients with bilateral tonsil cancers;

   8. Prior invasive malignancy (except non-melanomatous skin cancer) unless disease free
   for a minimum of 1095 days (3 years) (for example, carcinoma in situ of the breast,
   oral cavity, or cervix are all permissible);

   9. Prior systemic chemotherapy for the study cancer; note that prior chemotherapy for a
   different cancer is allowable;

10. Prior radiotherapy to the region of the study cancer that would result in overlap of
   radiation therapy fields;

11. Severe, active co-morbidity defined as follows:

      - Unstable angina and/or congestive heart failure requiring hospitalization within
      the last 6 months;

      - Transmural myocardial infarction within the last 6 months;

      - Acute bacterial or fungal infection requiring intravenous antibiotics at the time
      of registration;

      - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease exacerbation or other respiratory illness
      requiring hospitalization or precluding study therapy within 30 days of

      - Hepatic insufficiency resulting in clinical jaundice and/or coagulation defects;
      note, however, that laboratory tests for liver function and coagulation
      parameters are not required for entry into this protocol other than those
      requested in Section 3.2.10.

      - Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) based upon current Centers for Disease
      Control and Prevention (CDC) definition with immune compromise greater than that
      noted in Inclusion Criterion 13; note, however, that HIV testing is not required
      for entry into this protocol. The need to exclude patients with AIDS from this
      protocol is necessary because the treatments involved in this protocol may be
      significantly immunosuppressive. Protocol-specific requirements may also exclude
      immuno-compromised patients.

12. Pregnancy; this exclusion is necessary because the treatment involved in this study
   may be significantly teratogenic.

13. Prior allergic reaction to cisplatin.


drug: Cisplatin

radiation: IMRT 6 weeks

radiation: IMRT 5 weeks

Not Recruiting

Contact Information

Stanford University
School of Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive
Stanford, CA 94305

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