Can synchronous chemotherapy be added to accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy in patients with base of tongue cancer?
Yap, Beng K
Lee, Lip W
Sykes, Andrew J
Mais, Kathleen L
Hartley, Ann L
Slevin, Nicholas J
AffiliationDepartment of Clinical Oncology, Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester M20 4BX, UK.
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AbstractAIM: To evaluate the tolerability of synchronous chemotherapy and accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between 1999 and 2004, 43 patients with stage II-IV squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue were treated with a combined modality of radiotherapy (prescribed 55 Gy in 20 fractions), synchronous chemotherapy and in some cases surgical neck dissection. End points were acute and late toxicity, 3 year locoregional control, overall survival, cancer-specific survival and compliance. RESULTS: The median follow-up for surviving patients was 3.9 years. All patients completed radiotherapy and 30% received neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The median time for the completion of treatment was 27 days (range 25-36). Overall, only 42% completed the prescribed synchronous chemotherapy. However, compliance increased to 60% in patients who did not receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Grade 3 mucositis developed in 90% of patients. Prolonged grade 3 mucositis (>4 weeks) was seen in 24/43 (56%) and none developed grade 4 mucositis. There were no toxic deaths. Feeding tube dependency at 1 year was 14%. The 3 year locoregional control, overall survival and cancer-specific survival were 70, 60 and 60%, respectively. Clinical T staging was most significantly associated with poor overall survival, cancer-specific survival and local control. Distant metastases occurred in 6/43 patients (14%), 5/6 without locoregional recurrence. CONCLUSION: The addition of synchronous chemotherapy to accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy consistently led to grade 3 mucositis. Tumour control rates compare well with published outcomes. Higher mucosal toxicity and lower synchronous chemotherapy compliance compared with other series may suggest that this approach is at the limit of patient tolerability. However, the tumour site investigated and the choice of synchronous chemotherapy agent may also be important. Compliance may be improved using intensity-modulated radiotherapy and agents that do not enhance mucosal toxicity. Longer fractionation will probably increase compliance with chemotherapy, particularly when induction is used before synchronous treatment.
CitationCan synchronous chemotherapy be added to accelerated hypofractionated radiotherapy in patients with base of tongue cancer? 2010, 22 (3):185-91 Clin Oncol
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