Intensity-modulated radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer : a European single-centre experience
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
The British journal of radiology / British Institute of Radiology [London] - London
, p. 367-374
University of Antwerp
Objective: The purpose of this study was to analyse retrospectively the intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) results in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) treated between November 2003 and June 2007. Methods: Patients with early and locoregionally advanced HNC were treated with inverse-planned step-and-shoot IMRT. The prescribed dose varied from 66 Gy to 70 Gy in those receiving IMRT as definitive treatment and from 60 Gy to 70 Gy in the post-operative setting. IMRT was given alone, after induction chemotherapy (ICT), with concomitant chemotherapy (CRT) or with both. Acute and late toxicities are reported; locoregional control (LRC), locoregional relapse-free survival (LRRFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated from the start of radiation. Results: IMRT was used in 78 patients (48 as definitive treatment, 30 post-operatively), of whom 20 also received ICT and 35 CRT. Three patients stopped IMRT early, one for toxicity (mucosa). Acute toxicity scoring revealed 5 cases (6%) of severe skin toxicity and 65 cases (83%) of severe mucosal toxicity. After a median follow-up of 18.7 months, late toxicities included xerostomia (44%), loss of taste (14%) and fibrosis of the neck (9%). 16 patients had died, of whom 10 due to tumour recurrence/progression and 2 due to treatment (but not IMRT related). The LRC, LRRFS and OS at 3 years are 66.1%, 48.5% and 60.3% in the definitive IMRT group and 85.4%, 82.5% and 85.9% in the post-operative setting, respectively. Conclusion: We consider IMRT for locoregional HNC feasible not only as a single modality but also after surgery, after induction chemotherapy and concurrently with chemotherapy.