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Supplementary Material for: Addition of Taxane to Induction Therapy in Head and Neck Malignancies: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

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posted on 23.07.2014, 00:00 by Perl G., Ben-Aharon I., Popovtzer A., Stemmer S.M., Vidal L.
Background: Head and neck cancer, mostly squamous cell carcinoma, ranks sixth among the most common cancers. Despite progress in treatment in recent years, survival remains poor. Since induction chemotherapy has been associated with survival benefit, it is a reasonable treatment option. The standard protocol up to recently has been cisplatin and 5-flourouracil. The addition of taxanes to the standard induction protocol has shown superiority in terms of the overall response rate. Nevertheless, not all trials demonstrated survival benefit. We aimed to evaluate the effect of taxane added to the standard protocol of induction therapy. Methods: We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared the addition of taxane to the standard induction protocol of cisplatin and 5-flourouracil for patients with head and neck malignancy. We searched The Cochrane library, PubMed, LILACS, conference proceedings, and references of published trials. Two reviewers independently assessed the quality of the trials and extracted data. Hazard ratios (HRs) for time-to-event were determined and pooled. Results: A total of 4 trials comprising 1,441 patients were included in this meta-analysis. All patients were available for the meta-analysis of overall survival. Patients treated with the addition of taxane had statistically significant overall survival [HR = 0.82, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.71-0.94] and progression-free survival (HR = 0.82, 95% CI 0.72-0.93). No effect was observed in larynx preservation rate (relative risk = 0.88, 95% CI 0.64-1.19). The rate of hematological adverse events was higher in the taxane group than in the control group. Conclusions: These results suggest that induction therapy with the addition of taxane is superior to induction therapy with cisplatin and 5-flourouracil in terms of overall survival and progression-free survival. The higher rate of neutropenia and neutropenic fever should be taken into consideration when making treatment decisions.