Head and neck radiotherapy compliance in an underserved patient population.
ABSTRACT Compliance to intensive multiweek radiation therapy (RT) regimens in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients is challenging, particularly among medically underserved patients with fewer financial and social resources. Treatment prolongation reduces local control and overall survival rates, making adherence to treatment a key factor in optimal outcome. We evaluated factors affecting compliance in medically underserved patients who received RT for HNC in a large municipal hospital setting in New York City.
Treatment records of patients treated between July 2004 and August 2008 were reviewed. Number of and reasons for missed treatments were identified. Several demographic, toxicity, and treatment variables were analyzed for impact on compliance.
Eighty consecutive HNC patients who underwent RT with a 5- to 7-week regimen were identified. Thirty-two patients (40%) missed no treatments, 36 (45%) missed one to six treatments, six (8%) missed seven to 14 treatments, two (3%) missed more than 14 treatments, and four (5%) did not complete treatment. Reasons for missed treatments were hospitalization (31% of events) and toxicity (20%). Patients with percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube were more likely to miss treatments (P = .01, chi(2) test). No other variable showed a significant association with missed treatments (chi(2) test).
Intensive RT for HNC can be delivered with very good adherence within a medically underserved population. Eighty-five percent of patients completed treatment with 0 to 6 days of interruption. Efforts to further improve adherence in this population are ongoing.
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ABSTRACT: A state of the science review to assess how nutritional status and malnutrition are defined by the community of researchers studying head & neck cancer (HNC) patients. In 117 publications, nutritional status was described diversely, ranging from merely one to all six of the following features: weight loss, body composition, quantity/type of food intake, symptoms impacting oral intake, inflammation and altered metabolism. Methods of assessment of each feature were inconsistent. Cancer- and treatment-related symptoms impacting oral intake were a prominent theme. Metabolic changes potentially related to weight loss and efficacy of nutritional therapy were rarely described (<15% of articles). There were 24 different explicit definitions for malnutrition. Consensus is needed regarding the criteria to adequately describe HNC-associated malnutrition. Standardization of assessments will permit aggregation of data, and integration into clinical practice-specifically, development of consensus criteria for implementation and termination of nutrition therapies.Critical reviews in oncology/hematology 07/2013; · 5.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Individuals are exposed to ionizing radiation during medical procedures and nuclear disasters, and this exposure can be carcinogenic, toxic, and sometimes fatal. Drugs that protect individuals from the adverse effects of radiation may therefore be valuable countermeasures against the health risks of exposure. In the current study, the LD(50/30) (the dose resulting in 50% of exposed mice surviving 30 days after exposure) was determined in control C3H mice and mice treated with the nitroxide radioprotectors Tempol, 3-CP, 16c, 22c, and 23c. The pharmacokinetics of 22c and 23c were measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the brain, blood, submandibular salivary gland, liver, muscle, tongue, and myocardium. It was found that 23c was the most effective radioprotector of the five studied: 23c increased the LD(50/30) in mice from 7.9±0.15Gy (treated with saline) to 11.47±0.13Gy (an increase of 45%). Additionally, MRI-based pharmacokinetic studies revealed that 23c is an effective redox imaging agent in the mouse brain, and that 23c may allow functional imaging of the myocardium. The data in this report suggest that 23c is currently the most potent known nitroxide radioprotector, and that it may also be useful as a contrast agent for functional imaging.Free Radical Biology and Medicine 05/2011; 51(3):780-90. · 5.27 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background The aim of this study was to analyse the reasons for not starting or for early of radiotherapy at the Radiation Oncology Department.Methods All radiotherapy treatments from March 2010 to February 2012 were included. Early withdrawals from treatment those that never started recorded. Clinical, demographic and dosimetric variables were also noted.ResultsFrom a total of 3250 patients treated and reviewed, 121 (4%) did not start or complete the planned treatment. Of those, 63 (52%) did not receive any radiotherapy fraction and 58 (48%) did not complete the course, 74% were male and 26% were female. The mean age was 67¿±¿13 years. The most common primary tumour was lung (28%), followed by rectum (16%). The aim of treatment was 62% radical and 38% palliative, 44% of patients had metastases; the most common metastatic site was bone, followed by brain. In 38% of cases (46 patients) radiotherapy was administered concomitantly with chemotherapy (10 cases (22%) were rectal cancers).The most common reason for not beginning or for early withdrawal of treatment was clinical progression (58/121, 48%). Of those, 43% died (52/121), 35 of them because of the progression of the disease and 17 from other causes. Incomplete treatment regimens were due to toxicity (12/121 (10%), of which 10 patients underwent concomitant chemotherapy for rectal cancer).Conclusions The number of patients who did not complete their course of treatment is low, which shows good judgement in indications and patient selection. The most common reason for incomplete treatments was clinical progression. Rectal cancer treated with concomitant chemotherapy was the most frequent reason of the interruption of radiotherapy for toxicity.Radiation Oncology 12/2014; 9(1):260. · 2.36 Impact Factor