Dosimetric factors associated with long-term dysphagia after definitive radiotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35249, USA.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics (Impact Factor: 4.59). 06/2009; 76(2):403-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.02.017
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intensification of radiotherapy and chemotherapy for head-and-neck cancer may lead to increased rates of dysphagia. Dosimetric predictors of objective findings of long-term dysphagia were sought.
From an institutional database, 83 patients were identified who underwent definitive intensity-modulated radiotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, after exclusion of those who were treated for a second or recurrent head-and-neck primary lesion, had locoregional recurrence at any time, had less than 12 months of follow-up, or had postoperative radiotherapy. Dosimetric parameters were analyzed relative to three objective endpoints as a surrogate for severe long-term dysphagia: percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube dependence at 12 months, aspiration on modified barium swallow, or pharyngoesophageal stricture requiring dilation.
Mean dose greater than 41 Gy and volume receiving 60 Gy (V(60)) greater than 24% to the larynx were significantly associated with PEG tube dependence and aspiration. V(60) greater than 12% to the inferior pharyngeal constrictor was also significantly associated with increased PEG tube dependence and aspiration. V(65) greater than 33% to the superior pharyngeal constrictor or greater than 75% to the middle pharyngeal constrictor was associated with pharyngoesophageal stricture requiring dilation.
Doses to the larynx and pharyngeal constrictors predicted long-term swallowing complications, even when controlled for other clinical factors. The addition of these structures to intensity-modulated radiotherapy optimization may reduce the incidence of dysphagia, although cautious clinical validation is necessary.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Radiotherapy, alone or combined with chemotherapy, is a treatment modality used frequently in head and neck cancer. In order to report, compare and interpret the sequelae of radiation treatment adequately, it is important to delineate organs at risk (OARs) according to well-defined and uniform guidelines. The aim of this paper was to present our institutional Computed Tomography (CT)-based delineation guidelines for organs in the head and neck at risk for radiation-induced swallowing dysfunction (SWOARs). After analyses of the human anatomy of the head and neck area and literature review, CT-based guidelines for delineation of the most relevant SWOARs were described by a panel of experts. This paper described institutional guidelines for the delineation of potential SWOARs, accompanied by CT-based illustrations presenting examples of the delineated structures and their corresponding anatomic borders. This paper is essential to ensure adequate interpretation of future reports on the relationship between dose distribution in these SWOARs and different aspects of post-treatment swallowing dysfunction.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 06/2011; 101(3):394-402. · 4.52 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study is to determine the pre-treatment clinical factors associated with prolonged enteral feeding in patients with oropharyngeal cancer treated with chemoradiation. MATERIALS AND METHODS: One hundred and nine patients with stage III-IVB oropharyngeal carcinoma treated with definitive chemoradiation were analyzed. Feeding tube usage was defined as the duration of active usage for nutritional purposes. RESULTS: Median follow-up was 4.4years and median feeding tube usage was 2.5months. On multivariate analysis, increasing duration of feeding tube usage was associated with narcotic use before treatment (p=0.04), living alone at the time of treatment (p=0.04), and larger pre-treatment decrease in body-mass index (p=0.01). Prolonged feeding tube usage was associated with decreased overall survival (p=0.06) and disease-free survival (p=0.02) in univariate analysis. CONCLUSIONS: By identifying patients at risk for prolonged feeding tube usage, aggressive measures can be attempted to prevent feeding tube dependence.
    Oral Oncology 01/2013; · 2.70 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Many head and neck cancer (HNC) survivors experience diminished quality of life due to radiation-induced dysphagia. The aim of this study was to investigate frequency, intensity and dose-volume dependency for late dysphagia in HNC patients treated with curative IMRT. Candidates for the study were 294 patients treated with primary IMRT from 2006 to 2010; a total of 259 patients accepted to participate by answering the EORTC QLQ-C30 and H&N35 questionnaires. A total of 65 patients were further examined with modified barium swallow (MBS) and saliva collection. Data on patient, tumor and treatment characteristics were prospectively recorded in the DAHANCA database. Dose-volume histograms (DVH) of swallowing-related structures were retrospectively analyzed. QoL data showed low degree of dysphagia (QoL subscales scores of 17 and below) compared to objective measures. The most frequent swallowing dysfunction was retention; penetration and aspiration was less common. In general, objective measurements and observer-assessed late dysphagia correlated with dose to pharyngeal constrictor muscles (PCM), whereas QoL endpoints correlated with DVH parameters in the glottis/supraglottic larynx. Both xerostomia and dysphagia has been reduced after introduction of IMRT. Radiation-induced dysphagia is still important, with a high degree of retention and penetration. Introduction of parotid-sparing IMRT has reduced the severity of dysphagia, primarily through a major reduction in xerostomia. Dose-response relationships were found for specific dysphagia endpoints.
    Radiotherapy and Oncology 06/2013; · 4.52 Impact Factor