Hypofractionated Radiotherapy for Palliation in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer.
ABSTRACT: In India, a considerable proportion of patients with head and neck cancer present with locoregionally advanced disease. Symptom palliation becomes a major objective in these cases when they could not be considered for a curative approach.The aim of this study is to assess the role of palliative radiotherapy for symptom control in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer.This was a retrospective study.Between July 2015 and June 2016, 98 patients with stage IV head and neck cancer were treated with palliative radiotherapy 25 Gray (Gy)/4 fractions (fr)/1 fraction (6.25 Gy)/week. Presenting symptoms were noted. The primary end point was relief of symptoms in the 4th week after radiotherapy. Percentage symptom relief was quantified by the patient using a rupee scale. Treatment response was noted using the WHO criteria. Acute toxicity was graded as per the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) criteria.The most common presenting symptom was pain. At 4 weeks after radiotherapy completion, all patients had >50% pain relief. Dysphagia was improved in 82% of patients. Respiratory distress was improved in all the symptomatic patients. Tumor complete response (CR) was seen in 2 patients, partial response in 89, stable disease in 3, and progressive disease in 4. RTOG Grade 2 and 3 acute skin and mucosal toxicities were seen in 29% and 27% cases, respectively. No patient had Grade 4 adverse effect.Hypofractionated radiation could provide effective symptom palliation in advanced head and neck cancers. The weekly schedule was well tolerated and found convenient by the patients.
Project description:Locally advanced and recurrent rectal cancers frequently cause pelvic morbidity including pain, bleeding and mass effect. Palliative pelvic radiotherapy is used to relieve these symptoms and delay local progression. There is no established optimal radiotherapy regimen and clinical practices vary. Our aim was to review the efficacy and toxicity of palliative pelvic radiotherapy of symptomatic rectal cancer and to evaluate different fractionation schedules, based on published literature.Systematic literature searches of Medline, Embase and Cochrane databases were performed through 2011. Studies reporting symptomatic response or quality of life (QOL) after palliative radiotherapy for rectal or rectosigmoid cancer were eligible. Results. Twenty-seven studies were included, of which 23 were retrospective reviews. There were no patient-reported outcomes or QOL assessments. There were large variations in applied radiotherapy regimens. Pooled overall symptom response rate was 75% and positive responses were reported for pain (78%), bleeding and discharge (81%), mass effect (71%) and other pelvic symptoms (72%). Toxicity results were not evaluable.Palliative pelvic radiotherapy for symptomatic rectal cancer appears to provide relief of a variety of pelvic symptoms, although there is no documented optimal radiotherapy regimen in this context. There is inadequate evidence regarding onset, duration and degree of symptom palliation, QOL and associated toxicity with this treatment and prospective studies are therefore needed.
Project description:Incurable head and neck cancer has a poor prognosis and impairs a patient's health-related quality of life. Palliative radiotherapy may improve or stabilize health-related quality of life and symptoms, best measured by patient-reported outcomes. There is no systematic analysis if palliative radiotherapy for head and neck cancer improves or stabilizes health-related quality of life or symptoms as validly measured by patient-reported outcomes. Therefore, the primary objective of this systematic review (PROSPERO-ID: CRD42020166434) was to assess the effect of palliative radiotherapy for head and neck cancer on patient-reported outcomes. The secondary objective was to assess the rate and quality of use of patient-reported outcomes in relevant studies claiming a "palliative effect" of radiotherapy. The databases MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane CENTRAL, "ClinicalTrials.gov" were searched. Concerning the primary objective, four studies were eligible to assess the effectiveness of palliative radiotherapy as measured by patient-reported outcomes. A narrative synthesis suggests a favorable impact of palliative radiotherapy on health-related quality of life and symptom burden. The risk of bias, however, is considerable and the overall quality of evidence low. Concerning the secondary objective, over 90% of studies claiming a "palliative effect" of palliative radiotherapy did either not use patient-reported outcomes or did so by limited quality. In conclusion, implementation of patient-reported outcomes in studies assessing palliative radiotherapy for head and neck cancer should be fostered. Palliative radiotherapy remains an option for head and neck cancer patients, although more studies focusing on patient-reported outcomes are needed.<h4>Systematic review registration</h4>https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/, identifier CRD42020166434.
Project description:BACKGROUND:To review a single institutional experience of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 8502 "QUAD shot" regimen using volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT) for incurable head and neck cancer (HNC). METHODS:Thirty-four consecutive patients with HNC were treated with at least one cycle of the RTOG 8502 regimen. Treatment plans included the use of VMAT with 6 MV photons generated by a linear accelerator. Two daily fractions of 3.7?Gy were delivered with an interval of at least 6?h for 2 consecutive days, totaling 14.8?Gy over 4 fractions. This was repeated every 3-4?weeks for a total of three cycles. No concurrent systemic therapy was performed. RESULTS:The number of completed cycles was 1 in 6 (18%) patients, 2 in 5 (15%), and 3 in 23 (68%). Tumor response was achieved in 29 (85%) patients and symptom relief in 20 (77%) of 26 patients. Overall response (tumor response or symptom relief) was achieved in 32 (94%) patients. All patients who received 2 or more treatment cycles achieved overall response. Median overall survival (OS) was 5.7?months. Multivariate analysis revealed that completion of all three treatment cycles was significantly associated with better OS (P?=?0.002). Grade 2 toxicity was observed in four (12%) patients, but no acute Grade???3 or late toxicity was observed. CONCLUSIONS:The RTOG 8502 "QUAD shot" regimen using VMAT is effective for incurable HNC with highly reduced toxicity. Treatment with multiple cycles is recommended for better treatment response and/or survival.
Project description:Purpose:To compare and evaluate the utility of varying hemostatic radiotherapy prescriptions for emergent palliation of bleeding tumors. Materials and methods:This retrospective study analyzed 112 consecutive patients treated with radiotherapy for emergent palliation of bleeding tumors at an academic institution. Study endpoints included: primary bleeding control; re-bleeding rate after initial control; treatment interruption rate; overall survival; and death within 30?days of treatment. Results:The most commonly prescribed fractionations were: 20?Gy in 5 fractions, 30?Gy in 10 fractions, and 8?Gy in a single fraction. The overall primary bleeding control rate was 89%. By location, primary bleeding control rates were 89% (31/35), 80% (16/20), 88% (14/16), 93% (13/14), 100% (9/9), and 100% (6/6) for gastrointestinal, genitourinary, head and neck, thoracic, extremity, and gynecologic sites, respectively. The overall re-bleeding rate following initial bleeding control was 25%. Female patients had a significantly reduced risk of bleeding recurrence (HR 0.18 [0.04-0.79], p?=?0.02). Longer fractionation regimens (>5 fractions) were not associated with a reduced incidence of re-bleeding (p?=?0.65), but were associated with more treatment interruptions (p?=?0.02). The 1-year overall survival rate in this population was 24%, with mortality greater in patients with poor performance status (HR 2.99 [1.36-6.58], p?=?0.007). Conclusions:Regardless of prescription, palliative radiotherapy is highly effective for primary bleeding control, with both long and short regimens demonstrating equal hemostatic effect and durability in the emergent setting. Longer radiotherapy regimens (>5 fractions), however, are accompanied by increased treatment interruptions and hospital days. Therefore, shorter hemostatic regimens (<5 fractions) are preferable in this palliative setting, with respect to minimizing treatment burden for patients while achieving symptomatic relief.
Project description:Interstitial photodynamic therapy (IPDT) is a technique for applying photodynamic therapy (PDT) to internal tumours using light delivered via fibres inserted percutaneously. This phase I-II study assessed the safety and efficacy of IPDT for patients with persistent or recurrent head and neck cancer unsuitable for further treatment with surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy, recruited for 'last hope' salvage treatment. Patients were sensitised with 0.15 mg kg(-1) mTHPC (meso-tetrahydroxyphenyl chlorin) 4 days prior to light delivery from fibres inserted directly into the target tumour (20 J per site at 652 nm) under image guidance. In all, 45 patients were treated. Nine achieved a complete response. Five are alive and free of disease 10-60 months later. Symptomatic relief (mainly for bleeding, pain or tumour debulking) was achieved in a further 24. The median survival (Kaplan-Meier) was 16 months for the 33 responders, but only 2 months for the 12 nonresponders. The only serious complication was a carotid blow out 2 weeks after PDT. No loss of function was detected in nerves encased by treated tumours. Interstitial photodynamic therapy provides worthwhile palliation with few complications and occasional long-term survivors for otherwise untreatable advanced head and neck cancers. It is a treatment option worth adding to those available to integrated head and neck oncology teams.
Project description:The Canadian Cancer Society estimated that 220,400 new cases of cancer would be diagnosed in 2019. Of the affected patients, more than 60% will survive for 5 years or longer after their cancer diagnosis. Furthermore, nearly 40% will receive at least 1 course of radiotherapy (rt). Radiotherapy is used with both curative and palliative intent: to treat early-stage or locally advanced tumours (curative) and for symptom management in advanced disease (palliative). It can be delivered systemically (external-beam rt) or internally (brachytherapy). Although technique improvements have drastically reduced the occurrence of rt-related toxicity, most patients still experience burdensome rt side effects (seffs). Radiotherapy seffs are local or locoregional, and manifest in tissues or organs that were irradiated. Side effects manifesting within weeks after rt completion are termed "early seffs," and those occurring months or years after treatment are termed "late seffs." In addition to radiation oncologists, general practitioners in oncology and primary care providers are involved in survivorship care and management of rt seffs. Here, we present an overview of common seffs and their respective management: anxiety, depression, fatigue, and effects related to the head-and-neck, thoracic, and pelvic treatment sites.
Project description:Treatment of locoregionally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma involves a multidisciplinary approach that combines surgery, radiotherapy, and systemic therapy. These curative strategies are associated with significant acute and long-term toxicities. With the emergence of human papillomavirus (HPV) as an etiologic factor associated primarily with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, higher cure rates juxtaposed with substantial treatment-related morbidity and mortality has led to interest in de-escalated therapeutic strategies, with the goal of optimizing oncologic outcomes while reducing treatment-related toxicity. Currently explored strategies include replacing, reducing, or omitting cytotoxic chemotherapy; reducing dose or volume of radiotherapy; and incorporation of less-invasive surgical approaches. Potential biomarkers to select patients for treatment de-escalation include clinical risk stratification, adjuvant de-escalation based on pathologic features, response to induction therapy, and molecular markers. The optimal patient selection and de-escalation strategy is critically important in the evolving treatment of locoregional head and neck cancer. Recently, two large phase III trials, RTOG 1016 and De-ESCALaTE, failed to de-escalate treatment in HPV-associated head and neck cancer by demonstrating inferior outcomes by replacing cisplatin with cetuximab in combination with radiation. This serves as a cautionary tale in the future design of de-escalation trials in this patient population, which will need to leverage toxicity and efficacy endpoints. Our review summarizes completed and ongoing de-escalation trials in head and neck cancer, with particular emphasis on biomarkers for patient selection and clinical trial design. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: The toxicity associated with standard multimodality treatment for head and neck cancer underscores the need to seek less-intensive therapies with a reduced long-term symptom burden through de-escalated treatment paradigms that minimize toxicity while maintaining oncologic control in appropriately selected patients. Controversy regarding the optimal de-escalation strategy and criteria for patient selection for de-escalated therapy has led to multiple parallel strategies undergoing clinical investigation. Well-designed trials that optimize multimodal strategies are needed. Given the absence of positive randomized trials testing de-escalated therapy to date, practicing oncologists should exercise caution and administer established standard-of-care therapy outside the context of a clinical trial.
Project description:<h4>Purpose</h4>National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) receive treatment at centers with expertise, but whether provider experience affects survival is unknown.<h4>Patients and methods</h4>The effect of institutional experience on overall survival (OS) in patients with stage III or IV HNC was investigated within a randomized trial of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG 0129), which compared cisplatin concurrent with standard versus accelerated fractionation radiotherapy. As a surrogate for experience, institutions were classified as historically low- (HLACs) or high-accruing centers (HHACs) based on accrual to 21 RTOG HNC trials (1997 to 2002). The effect of accrual volume on OS was estimated by Cox proportional hazards models.<h4>Results</h4>Median RTOG accrual (1997 to 2002) at HLACs was four versus 65 patients at HHACs. Analysis included 471 patients in RTOG 0129 (2002 to 2005) with known human papillomavirus and smoking status. Patients at HLACs versus HHACs had better performance status (0: 62% v 52%; P = .04) and lower T stage (T4: 26.5% v 35.3%; P = .002) but were otherwise similar. Radiotherapy protocol deviations were higher at HLACs versus HHACs (18% v 6%; P < .001). When compared with HHACs, patients at HLACs had worse OS (5 years: 51.0% v 69.1%; P = .002). Treatment at HLACs was associated with increased death risk of 91% (hazard ratio [HR], 1.91; 95% CI, 1.37 to 2.65) after adjustment for prognostic factors and 72% (HR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.23 to 2.40) after radiotherapy compliance adjustment.<h4>Conclusion</h4>OS is worse for patients with HNC treated at HLACs versus HHACs to cooperative group trials after accounting for radiotherapy protocol deviations. Institutional experience substantially influences survival in locally advanced HNC.
Project description:<b>Background: </b>Little is known about treatment expectations of patients with spinal metastases undergoing radiotherapy and/or surgery. Assuming that patients with spinal metastases share characteristics with patients who had spinal surgery for non-cancer related conditions and with advanced cancer patients, we performed a systematic review to summarize the literature on patient expectations regarding treatment outcomes of spinal surgery and advanced cancer care.<br><br><b>Methods: </b>A comprehensive search was performed in MEDLINE, EMBASE and PsycINFO for studies between 2000 and sep-2019. Studies including adult patients (>?18?years), undergoing spinal surgery or receiving advanced cancer care, investigating patients' pre-treatment expectations regarding treatment outcomes were included. Two independent reviewers screened titles, abstracts and full-texts, extracted data and assessed methodological quality.<br><br><b>Results: </b>The search identified 7343 articles, of which 92 were selected for full-text review. For this review, 31 articles were included. Patients undergoing spinal surgery had overly optimistic expectations regarding pain and symptom relief, they underestimated the probability of functional disability, and overestimated the probability of (complete) recovery and return to work. Studies highlighted that patients feel not adequately prepared for surgery in terms of post-treatment expectations. Similarly, advanced cancer patients receiving palliative treatment often had overly optimistic expectations regarding their survival probability and cure rates.<br><br><b>Conclusions: </b>Patients tend to have overly optimistic expectations regarding pain and symptom relief, recovery and prognosis following spinal surgery or advanced cancer care. Pretreatment consultation about the expected pain and symptom relief, recovery and prognosis may improve understanding of prognosis, and promote and manage expectations, which, in turn, may lead to better perceived outcomes.<br><br><b>Trial registration: </b>PROSPERO registration number: CRD42020145151 .
Project description:The 15-item University of Washington Quality of Life questionnaire-Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) modification (UW-QOL-RTOG modification) has been used in several trials of head and neck cancer conducted by NRG Oncology such as RTOG 9709, RTOG 9901, RTOG 0244, and RTOG 0537.This study is an exploratory factor analysis (EFA) to establish validity and reliability of the instrument subscales.EFA on the UW-QOL-RTOG modification was conducted using baseline data from NRG Oncology's RTOG 0537, a trial of acupuncture-like transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation in treating radiation-induced xerostomia. Cronbach ? coefficient was calculated to measure reliability; correlation with the University of Michigan Xerostomia Related Quality of Life Scale was used to evaluate concurrent validity; and correlations between consecutive time points were used to assess test-retest reliability.The 15-item EFA of the modified tool resulted in 11 items split into four factors: mucus, eating, pain, and activities. Cronbach ? ranged from 0.71 to 0.93 for the factors and total score, consisting of all 11 items. There were strong correlations (? ? 0.60) between consecutive time points and between total score and the Xerostomia Related Quality of Life Scale total score (? > 0.65).The UW-QOL-RTOG modification is a valid tool that can be used to assess symptom burden of head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation therapy or those who have recently completed radiation. The modified tool has acceptable reliability, concurrent validity, and test-retest reliability in this patient population, as well as the advantage of having being shortened from 15 to 11 items.