Favourable impact of intensity-modulated radiation therapy on chronic dysphagia in patients with head and neck cancer

Aanand, A. K.; Chaundhoory, A. R.; Shukla, A.; Negi, P. S.; Sinha, S. N.; Babu, A. A. G.; Munjal, R. K.; Dewan, A. K.; Kumar, K.; Doval, D. C.; Vaid, A. K.
November 2008
British Journal of Radiology;Nov2008, Vol. 81 Issue 971, p865
Academic Journal
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) on the incidence and severity of chronic dysphagia in patients with head and neck cancer. 62 evaluable patients with head and neck cancer who were treated with IMRT with or without concurrent chemotherapy were analysed. The majority of the patients (77.4%) had advanced locoregional disease. 45 patients underwent definitive IMRT and 17 received post-operative IMRT. Concurrent chemotherapy was given to 29 of the 45 patients treated with definitive IMRT. The average prescribed dose to clinical target volume (CTV)1 was 66–70 Gy (definitive IMRT) and 56–62 Gy (post-operative IMRT); 60 Gy to CTV2; 54 Gy to CTV3; and 50–52 Gy to the supraclavicular area. At a median follow-up of 19 months, 2-year actuarial locoregional control and survival was 77% and 74%, respectively. At 6 months after IMRT, chronic dysphagia was Grade 0 in 77.1% of patients, Grade 1 in 10.5% and Grade 2 in 12.3%. Acute mucositis showed no correlation with long-term dysphagia. The percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy or nasogastric tube was removed in all of the patients within 8 weeks of completion of treatment. Xerostomia was Grade 0 in 61.4% of patients, Grade 1 in 31.5% and Grade 2 in 7% of patients. In conclusion, IMRT conferred a major favourable impact on chronic dysphagia in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancers, with satisfactory locoregional control.


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