IROC Rhode Island (QARC) Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Quality Assurance Review Center; Department of Radiation Oncology

Publication Date


Document Type



Health Services Administration | Neoplasms | Oncology | Radiology


Importance: The Canadian Cancer Trials Group study HN.6 is the largest randomized clinical trial to date comparing the concurrent administration of anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibodies with radiotherapy (RT) to standard chemoradiotherapy in locoregionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (LA-SCCHN).

Objective: To compare progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with LA-SCCHN treated with standard-fractionation RT plus high-dose cisplatin vs accelerated-fractionation RT plus the anti-EGFR antibody panitumumab. Design, Setting, and

Participants: A randomized phase 3 clinical trial in 17 Canadian centers. A total of 320 patients were randomized between December 2008 and November 2011. Interventions: Patients with TanyN+M0 or T3-4N0M0 LA-SCCHN were randomized 1:1 to receive standard-fractionation RT (70 Gy/35 over 7 weeks) plus cisplatin at 100 mg/m2 intravenous for 3 doses (arm A) vs accelerated-fractionation RT (70 Gy/35 over 6 weeks) plus panitumumab at 9 mg/kg intravenous for 3 doses (arm B). Main Outcomes and

Measures: Primary end point was PFS. Due to an observed declining event rate, the protocol was amended to a time-based analysis. Secondary end points included overall survival, local and regional PFS, distant metastasis-free survival, quality of life, adverse events, and safety.

Results: Of 320 patients randomized (268 [84%] male; median age, 56 years), 156 received arm A and 159 arm B. A total of 93 PFS events occurred. By intention-to-treat, 2-year PFS was 73% (95% CI, 65%-79%) in arm A and 76% (95% CI, 68%-82%) in arm B (hazard ratio [HR], 0.95; 95% CI, 0.60-1.50; P = .83). The upper bound of the HR 95% CI exceeded the prespecified noninferiority margin. Two-year overall survival was 85% (95% CI, 78%-90%) in arm A and 88% (95% CI, 82%-92%) in arm B (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.54-1.48; P = .66). Incidence of any grade 3 to 5 nonhematologic adverse event was 88% in arm A and 92% in arm B (P = .25). Conclusions and

Relevance: With a median follow-up of 46 months, the PFS of panitumumab plus accelerated-fractionation RT was not superior to cisplatin plus standard-fractionation RT in LA-SCCHN and noninferiority was not proven. Despite having negative results, HN.6 has contributed important data regarding disease control and toxic effects of these treatment strategies.

Trial Registration: Identifier: NCT00820248.

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This article is published under JAMA Oncology’s open access model and is free to read on the day of publication.

DOI of Published Version



Siu LL, Waldron JN, Chen BE, Winquist E, Wright JR, Nabid A, Hay JH, Ringash J, Liu G, Johnson A, Shenouda G, Chasen M, Pearce A, Butler JB, Breen S, Chen EX, FitzGerald TJ, Childs TJ, Montenegro A, O'Sullivan B, Parulekar WR. Effect of Standard Radiotherapy With Cisplatin vs Accelerated Radiotherapy With Panitumumab in Locoregionally Advanced Squamous Cell Head and Neck CarcinomaA Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Oncol. 2017;3(2):220-226. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.4510 Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

JAMA oncology


Full list of authors omitted for brevity. For full list see article.

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