A network meta-analysis of the sequencing and types of systemic therapies with definitive radiotherapy in locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (LASCCHN)☆ Journal Articles uri icon

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  • OBJECTIVES: The current standard therapy for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (LASCCHN) is platinum-based chemotherapy plus concurrent radiotherapy (CRT), but several systemic therapies have been evaluated. We performed a Bayesian network meta-analysis (NMA) with random effects to enable direct and indirect comparisons of all existing treatment modalities for LASCCHN simultaneously. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A systematic review was conducted using MEDLINE, EMBASE, ASCO abstracts, ASTRO abstracts and the Cochrane Central of Registered Trials using Cochrane methodology to identify randomized controlled trials (RCTs) up to June 2016. Only abstracts that involved the same definitive radiotherapy in the arms for the RCT were included. RESULTS: Sixty-five RCTs involving 13,574 patients and 16 different treatment strategies were identified. Chemotherapy plus concurrent radiation (CRT) was superior to RT with a HR of 0.74 (95%CR 0.69-0.79) for OS in the NMA. Only 3 trials compared RT alone to concurrent therapy with an EGFR antibody (ERT), demonstrating a superior OS (HR 0.75, 95% CR 0.60-0.94), but this difference was not statistically significant when interpreted in a NMA (HR 0.84, 95%CR 0.65-1.08). ERT was not superior to CRT (HR 1.19, 95%CR 0.93-1.54), and the addition of neo-adjuvant taxane-based chemotherapy to CRT was not beneficial (HR 0.86, 95% CR 0.70-1.07). CONCLUSION: The addition of either adjuvant or neoadjuvant chemotherapy to the CRT backbone does not confer an OS benefit in the treatment of LASCCHN. Similarly, ERT does not confer an OS benefit for patients who are eligible for CRT.


  • Jerzak, Katarzyna J
  • Delos Santos, Keemo
  • Saluja, Ronak
  • Lien, Kelly
  • Lee, Justin
  • Chan, Kelvin KW

publication date

  • August 2017