A Randomized Prospective Study of Concurrent Chemo-Radiotherapy vs Accelerated Hyperfractionation in Advanced Cancer of Head and Neck XC15-XC18
Dr. Himanshu Mishra,
Senior Resident, Department of Radiotherapy, DR RML IMS, Lucknow-221106, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Introduction: Locally advanced unresectable squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck has poor locoregional control when treated with conventionally fractionated Radiation Therapy (RT) alone. However, Concurrent Chemo-Radiotherapy (CRT) and altered fractionated RT schedules like Accelerated Hyperfractionation (AHF) are two different treatment strategies that have shown to be associated with better efficacy as compared to conventional RT alone in such cases.
Aim: Aim of the study was to compare these two treatment strategies i.e., CRT and AHF radiation treatment to know which is better in terms of clinical outcome and toxicity in patients of locally advanced unresectable squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck.
Materials and Methods: A prospective randomized trial was done to compare the effect of CRT and of AHF radiation treatment in locally advanced unresectable head and neck cancer on 15 patients in each arm and followed up over three months period.
Results: At the end of three months after completion of treatment protocol, complete response was 62% in CRT arm and 53% in AHF arm. In CRT arm and AHF arm, Grade 3 skin reactions were observed in 100% and 87%, grade 3 mucosal reactions were in 62% and 67% of cases, respectively. Three patients died in CRT arm (two due to myelosuppression and associated infection; one during the treatment and another after two weeks of treatment completion. The third patient expired after one month of treatment completion at his native place due to unknown reason). One patient died in AHF arm (during treatment due to cardiac event).
Conclusion: Efficacy of AHF was comparable to CRT with lesser toxicity. So the present study suggests that AHF should be preferred over CRT in locally advanced, unresectable, squamous cell head and neck cancer followed over three months non-treatment period.