Surgery and Radiation Therapy With or Without Interleukin-2 in Treating Patients With Cancer of the Mouth or Oropharynx

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00002702
Recruitment Status : Unknown
Verified February 2011 by National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Recruitment status was:  Recruiting
First Posted : January 27, 2003
Last Update Posted : August 26, 2013
Information provided by:
National Cancer Institute (NCI)

November 1, 1999
January 27, 2003
August 26, 2013
September 1992
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  • Disease-free survival at 3 and 5 years
  • Recurrence/metastasis rate at 3 and 5 years
  • Response rate
  • Local and systemic effects of treatment
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Complete list of historical versions of study NCT00002702 on Archive Site
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Surgery and Radiation Therapy With or Without Interleukin-2 in Treating Patients With Cancer of the Mouth or Oropharynx
Multicentre Randomised Trial of Inductive and Adjuvant Perilymphatically Injected Proleukin (rlL-2) in The Treatment of Operable Primary Squamous Cell Carcinoma of The Oral Cavity and Oropharynx

RATIONALE: Interleukin-2 may stimulate a person's white blood cells to kill cancer cells of the mouth or oropharynx. Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to damage tumor cells. It is not known whether giving interleukin-2 with surgery and radiation therapy is more effective than surgery and radiation therapy alone.

PURPOSE: This randomized phase III trial is studying surgery and radiation therapy alone to see how well they work compared to surgery, radiation therapy, and interleukin-2 in treating patients with cancer of the mouth or oropharynx.


  • Compare the disease-free and overall survival in patients with previously untreated squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity or oropharynx treated with resection with or without and neoadjuvant and adjuvant perilymphatic interleukin-2 (IL-2) and radiotherapy.
  • Compare the response rate in patients treated with these regimens.
  • Determine the local and systemic effects of locoregional IL-2 on host-tumor interaction and immune properties in these patients.

OUTLINE: This is a randomized, multicenter study. Patients are stratified according to center and tumor stage (T2, N0-2 vs T2, N3 or T3-4, N0-3). Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 treatment arms.

  • Arm I: Patients undergo induction comprising interleukin-2 (IL-2) via perilymphatic injections to the ipsilateral myelohyoid muscle and insertion of the sternocleidomastoid muscle on days 1-5 and 8-12. Within 10 days after the last IL-2 injection, patients undergo en bloc resection of the primary tumor and corresponding lymphatic drainage area and pre-study margins. Beginning within 4 weeks after surgery, patients with T2, N0-3 disease but with pathohistological evidence of node invasion or capsular rupture of node metastasis or T3-4, N0-3 disease undergo adjuvant radiotherapy 5 days a week for 4.5-6.5 weeks. Beginning within 4 weeks after surgery or radiotherapy (if applicable), patients receive adjuvant IL-2 via perilymphatic injections to the contralateral myelohyoid muscle and insertion of the sternocleidomastoid muscle on days 1-5. Adjuvant IL-2 continues monthly for at least 1 year in the absence of disease progression.
  • Arm II: Patients undergo resection and radiotherapy (if eligible) as in arm I. Patients are followed monthly for 1 year and then every 2 months for 2 years.

PROJECTED ACCRUAL: A total of 260 patients (130 per treatment arm) will be accrued for this study.

Phase 3
Allocation: Randomized
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Head and Neck Cancer
  • Biological: aldesleukin
  • Procedure: adjuvant therapy
  • Procedure: conventional surgery
  • Procedure: neoadjuvant therapy
  • Radiation: radiation therapy
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*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Unknown status
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  • Histologically proven squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity or oropharynx

    • Operable, primary, unilateral, stage T2-4, N0-3, M0 disease
    • No high probability of bilateral lymphatic spread (requirement for bilateral neck dissection)
  • No tumor involvement of the following sites:

    • Pterygopalatine fossa
    • Carotid artery
    • Maxillary sinus
    • Facial skin
    • Anterior floor of the mouth
    • Base of the tongue infiltrating more than 1 cm
  • Measurable or evaluable disease by physical exam and/or noninvasive imaging



  • 75 and under

Performance status:

  • ECOG 0-2 OR
  • Karnofsky 70-100%

Life expectancy:

  • More than 3 months


  • WBC at least 4,000/mm3
  • Platelet count at least 60,000/mm3
  • Hematocrit at least 30%


  • Bilirubin normal
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen negative


  • Creatinine normal


  • No congestive heart failure
  • No uncontrolled hypertension
  • No coronary artery disease
  • No serious arrhythmia
  • No evidence of prior myocardial infarction on ECG (stress test required if in doubt)


  • HIV negative
  • No autoimmune disease
  • No contraindications to pressor agents
  • No serious infection requiring antibiotics
  • No other concurrent primary malignancy
  • Not pregnant or nursing


Biologic therapy:

  • No prior or other concurrent immunotherapy


  • No prior or concurrent chemotherapy

Endocrine therapy:

  • No prior or concurrent hormonal therapy
  • No concurrent corticosteroids


  • No prior radiotherapy


  • See Disease Characteristics
  • No prior major organ allografts


  • No other prior therapy
  • No other concurrent investigational drugs, agents, or devices
  • No concurrent nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, ranitidine, cimetidine, or coumarin
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
up to 75 Years   (Child, Adult, Senior)
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
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European Institute of Oncology
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Study Chair: Giorgio Cortesina, MD Universita Degli Studi di Turin
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
February 2011

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP