Giving radiation therapy and chemotherapy after surgery reduces the chance that a head and neck cancer may return. Cisplatin is the standard chemotherapy drug that is commonly used and can sensitize tumor cells to radiation therapy. In this study, researchers are comparing the effectiveness of three different treatment regimens for patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that has a high chance of returning.
All patients will have had their tumors surgically removed. Patients will then be randomly assigned to one of three therapies: radiation therapy plus cisplatin; radiation plus docetaxel; or radiation plus docetaxel and cetuximab. Docetaxel and cetuximab are approved chemotherapy drugs, but the way they are being given in this study is considered investigational.