Phase 1 trial of concurrent erlotinib, celecoxib, and reirradiation for recurrent head and neck cancer

Johnny Kao, Eric M. Genden, Chien Ting Chen, Michael Rivera, Charles C.L. Tong, Kryztof Misiukiewicz, Vishal Gupta, Vivek Gurudutt, Marita Teng, Stuart H. Packer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Backkground: Concurrent inhibition of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is an active and well tolerated regimen in recurrent head and neck cancer (HNC). In the current phase 1 trial, the authors sought to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) and efficacy of concurrent erlotinib and celecoxib as a radiosensitizing regimen. Methods: Fourteen patients with previously irradiated HNC with no distant metastases who required reirradiation were eligible. Treatment consisted of daily erlotinib 150 mg and twice daily celecoxib (escalated from 200 mg to 600 mg using a 3 + 3 design with an expanded cohort at the MTD) starting on Day 1 and was continued during radiation. Daily radiation was started on Day 15, and maintenance erlotinib was recommended. Results: The recommended phase 2 dose of celecoxib was 400 mg. Three dose-limiting toxicities included late in-field orocutaneous fistula (Dose Level 2), osteonecrosis (Dose Level 3), and trismus (Dose Level 3). Acute grade ≥ 3 toxicities were uncommon and included mucositis (21%) and dermatitis (14%). At a median follow-up of 11 months, the 1-year locoregional control, progression-free survival, and overall survival rates were 60%, 37%, and 55%, respectively. Conclusions: Concurrent erlotinib, celecoxib, and reirradiation was a feasible and clinically active regimen in a population of patients with recurrent HNC who had a poor prognosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3173-3181
Number of pages9
Issue number14
StatePublished - 15 Jul 2011


  • celecoxib
  • cyclooxygenase-2
  • epidermal growth factor receptor
  • erlotinib
  • intensity-modulated radiotherapy
  • reirradiation


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