RASSF1A and ERCC1 expression levels might be predictive of prognosis in advanced, recurrent, and metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with docetaxel and cisplatin

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Background: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the immunohistochemical expression of ERCC1 and RASSF1A would predict both response to and survival after docetaxel and cisplatin combination chemotherapy in inoperable or recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Patients and Methods: A total of 54 patients were treated with frontline systemic chemotherapy composed of docetaxel (60 mg/m2) and cisplatin (65 mg/m2), every 3 weeks for up to 6 cycles. The expression levels of ERCC1 and RASSF1A were evaluated in the available 36 prechemotherapy samples. Results: The overall objective response rate was 35% (complete remission 12% and partial remission 23%). The median progression-free survival and overall survival (OS) times were 5.0 months (95% confidence interval (CI), 3.7-6.4 months) and 24.2 months (95% CI, 3.5-45.0 months), respectively. The status of low ERCC1 and high RASSF1A expression was an independent favorable prognostic factor for OS in multivariate analysis (p = 0.043; hazard ratio, 7.224; 95% CI, 1.060-49.217). Toxicities were comparable with those of previously reported trials. Conclusions: Less intensive doses of cisplatin and docetaxel are active but not effective in reducing toxicity. Also, both ERCC1 and RASSF1A might be useful prognostic markers in this regimen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-682
Number of pages10
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Nov 1



  • Cisplatin
  • Docetaxel
  • ERCC1
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology

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