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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.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5545959 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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