Hyperfractionated or accelerated radiotherapy for head and neck cancer
ABSTRACT Several trials have studied the role of altered fractionation radiotherapy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, but the effect of such treatment on survival is not clear.
The aim of this individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis was to assess whether this type of radiotherapy could improve survival.
We searched the Cochrane Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders Group Trials Register; CENTRAL (2010, Issue 3); PubMed; EMBASE; CINAHL; Web of Science; BIOSIS Previews; Cambridge Scientific Abstracts; ISRCTN and additional sources for published and unpublished trials. The date of the most recent search was 8 August 2010.
We identified randomised trials comparing conventional radiotherapy with hyperfractionated or accelerated radiotherapy, or both, in patients with non-metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinomas and grouped trials into three pre-specified treatment categories: hyperfractionated, accelerated and accelerated with total dose reduction. Trials were eligible if they began recruitment after 1969 and ended before 1998.
We obtained updated individual patient data. Overall survival was the main outcome measure. The secondary outcome measures were local or regional control rates (or both), distant control rates and cause-specific mortality.
We included 15 trials with 6515 patients. The median follow up was six years. Tumour sites were mostly oropharynx and larynx; 5221 (74%) patients had stage III-IV disease (UICC 2002). There was a significant survival benefit with altered fractionation radiotherapy, corresponding to an absolute benefit of 3.4% at five years (hazard ratio (HR) 0.92, 95% CI 0.86 to 0.97; P = 0.003). The benefit was significantly higher with hyperfractionated radiotherapy (8% at five years) than with accelerated radiotherapy (2% with accelerated fractionation without total dose reduction and 1.7% with total dose reduction at five years, P = 0.02). There was a benefit in locoregional control in favour of altered fractionation versus conventional radiotherapy (6.4% at five years; P < 0.0001), which was particularly efficient in reducing local failure, whereas the benefit on nodal control was less pronounced. The benefit was significantly higher in the youngest patients (under 50 year old) (HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.65 to 0.94), 0.95 (95% CI 0.83 to 1.09) for 51 to 60 year olds, 0.92 (95% CI 0.81 to 1.06) for 61 to 70 year olds, and 1.08 (95% CI 0.89 to 1.30) for those over 70 years old; test for trends P = 0.007).
Altered fractionation radiotherapy improves survival in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Comparison of the different types of altered radiotherapy suggests that hyperfractionation provides the greatest benefit. An update of this IPD meta-analysis (MARCH 2), which will increase the power of this analysis and allow for other comparisons, is currently in progress.
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ABSTRACT: To establish the extent to which systematic reviews and meta-analyses of individual participant data (IPD) are being used to inform the recommendations included in published clinical guidelines. Descriptive study. Database maintained by the Cochrane IPD Meta-analysis Methods Group, supplemented by records of published IPD meta-analyses held in a separate database. A test sample of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials that included a meta-analysis of IPD, and a separate sample of clinical guidelines, matched to the IPD meta-analyses according to medical condition, interventions, populations, and dates of publication. Descriptive information on each guideline was extracted along with evidence showing use or critical appraisal, or both, of the IPD meta-analysis within the guideline; recommendations based directly on its findings and the use of other systematic reviews in the guideline. Based on 33 IPD meta-analyses and 177 eligible, matched clinical guidelines there was evidence that IPD meta-analyses were being under-utilised. Only 66 guidelines (37%) cited a matched IPD meta-analysis. Around a third of these (n=22, 34%) had critically appraised the IPD meta-analysis. Recommendations based directly on the matched IPD meta-analyses were identified for only 18 of the 66 guidelines (27%). For the guidelines that did not cite a matched IPD meta-analysis (n=111, 63%), search dates had preceded the publication of the IPD meta-analysis in 23 cases (21%); however, for the remainder, there was no obvious reasons why the IPD meta-analysis had not been cited. Our results indicate that systematic reviews and meta-analyses based on IPD are being under-utilised. Guideline developers should routinely seek good quality and up to date IPD meta-analyses to inform guidelines. Increased use of IPD meta-analyses could lead to improved guidelines ensuring that routine patient care is based on the most reliable evidence available. © Vale et al 2015.BMJ Clinical Research 03/2015; 350:h1088. DOI:10.1136/bmj.h1088 · 14.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Performing intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) on head and neck cancer patients (HNCPs) requires robust training and experience. Thus, in 2011, the Head and Neck Cancer Working Group (HNCWG) of the Italian Association of Radiation Oncology (AIRO) organized a study group with the aim to run a literature review to outline clinical practice recommendations, to suggest technical solutions and to advise target volumes and doses selection for head and neck cancer IMRT. The main purpose was therefore to standardize the technical approach of radiation oncologists in this context. The following paper describes the results of this working group. Volumes, techniques/strategies and dosage were summarized for each head-and-neck site and subsite according to international guidelines or after reaching a consensus in case of weak literature evidence.Radiation Oncology 12/2014; 9(1):1165. DOI:10.1186/s13014-014-0264-9 · 2.36 Impact Factor
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