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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 166-170

Palliative low dose fortnightly methotrexate in oral cancers: Experience at a rural cancer centre from India

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, Kerala, India
2 Department of Cancer Palliative Medicine, Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, Kerala, India
3 Department of Surgical Oncology, Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Santam Chakraborty
Department of Radiation Oncology, Malabar Cancer Centre, Thalassery, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-330X.136798

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Context: Palliative fortnightly chemotherapy in oral cancers. Aims: We present our experience with a regimen employing fortnightly (once in 2 weeks) injectable methotrexate (MTX) (40 mg/m 2 ) in a predominantly elderly cohort of patients with carcinoma of oral cavity and oropharynx. Settings and Design: Retrospective chart review conducted at a rural cancer center in India. Materials and Methods: All patients with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers started on treatment with fortnightly injectable MTX (40 mg/m 2 ) between 01/01/2011 and 31/12/2011. Statistical Analysis Used: The factors analyzed included the duration of disease control, pain control, overall survival and progression free survival which were evaluated using the Kaplan Meier method. Results: A total of 60 patients with a median age of 66.5 years were analyzed. Majority of the patients had poor nutritional status, performance status or co-morbidities. MTX was given for recurrent disease in 19 patients and after initial palliative radiotherapy in 41 patients. The median number of cycles delivered was nine. Grade 3/4 toxicities were seen in 2 patients only. Disease control rate at the end of treatment was seen in 33 (55%) patients. Median overall survival was 34 weeks (interquartile range: 17-50 weeks). Conclusions: The fortnightly regimen of MTX was well-tolerated and showed a good clinical activity in this elderly cohort of patients with advanced oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers.

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