Capecitabine after Surgical Salvage in Recurrent Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017 Dec;157(6):995-997. doi: 10.1177/0194599817722948. Epub 2017 Aug 15.


Due to the high incidence of recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and the toxicity profile of current salvage regimens, there is a need for tolerable and effective treatment options. We performed a retrospective matched case series to report our experience with recurrent high-risk patients who received capecitabine (CAP) therapy in the adjuvant setting after salvage therapy. The 5-year recurrence-free survival rates for the CAP and control cohorts were 54% (95% CI, 0.27%-0.75%) and 27% (95% CI, 0.09%-0.50%), respectively. Multivariable Cox modeling showed a significant improvement in recurrence-free survival in the CAP cohort (hazard ratio, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.04-0.92; P = .0392). While this was a respective analysis that could not control for all variables, these exploratory findings offer insights that may inform a prospective study to determine CAP efficacy.

Keywords: capecitabine; head and neck cancer; recurrent; squamous cell carcinoma; surgical salvage.

MeSH terms

  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Capecitabine / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy / methods*
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Capecitabine