Dysphagia after sequential chemoradiation therapy for advanced head and neck cancer.

Department of Surgery/Division of Otolaryngology, at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.73). 07/2006; 134(6):916-22. DOI:10.1016/j.otohns.2006.02.001
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Assess impact of sequential chemoradiation therapy (SCRT) for advanced head and neck cancer (HNCA) on swallowing, nutrition, and quality of life.
Prospective cohort study of 59 patients undergoing SCRT for advanced head and neck cancer. Follow-up median was 47.5 months.
Regional Cancer Center.
Median time to gastrostomy tube removal was 21 weeks. Eighteen of 23 patients who underwent modified barium swallow demonstrated aspiration; none developed pneumonia. Six of 7 with pharyngoesophageal stricture underwent successful dilatation. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Head and Neck Scale questionnaires at median 6 months after treatment revealed "somewhat" satisfaction with swallowing. At the time of analysis, 97% have the gastronomy tube removed and take soft/regular diet.
Early after treatment dysphagia adversely affected weight, modified barium swallow results, and quality of life. Diligent swallow therapy, and dilation as needed, allowed nearly all patients to have their gastronomy tubes removed and return to a soft/regular diet.
Dysphagia is significant after SCRT but generally slowly recovers 6 to 12 months after SCRT.

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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: This prospective study evaluated swallowing outcomes prechemoradiotherapy (pre-CRT) up to 1 year post-CRT, in a substantial cohort of patients with head and neck cancer and explored factors predicting outcome. METHODS: One hundred twelve patients were assessed pretreatment and at 3, 6, and 12 months posttreatment using a questionnaire, endoscopic assessment, water swallow test, and diet score. RESULTS: Seventy-one patients were retained, the majority had oropharyngeal (53%) or hypopharyngeal cancer (20%). A marked deterioration occurred between pretreatment and 3 months posttreatment (p ≤ .01). Significant improvement between 3 and 12 months was found on 2 swallowing measures, but not self reported. Three of the 4 pretreatment assessments predicted outcomes at 1 year. CONCLUSION: CRT results in a marked deterioration on different paradigms of swallowing measurements. Improvement occurs on some clinical measures, but limited change is observed in patients' perceptions. Pretreatment measures are important indicators of long-term dysphagia. Swallowing recovery is complex, taking different courses between clinical tests and perspectives. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2013.
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    ABSTRACT: Use of a prophylactic feeding tube before concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy (CRT) for patients with head and neck cancer is often debated. A retrospective, exploratory study of 109 veterans with stage III/IV head and neck cancer who completed standard CRT was conducted. Relationships among 3 feeding tube status groups: prophylactic feeding tube (PFT), reactive feeding tube (RFT), and no feeding tube (no-FT) were compared for clinical outcomes. Patients with a PFT had significantly less weight loss during CRT, fewer nutrition-related emergency department visits or hospitalizations, and higher proportions of chemotherapy cycles completed compared to those with an RFT or no-FT. At 12 months post-CRT, there was no relationship between the use of a PFT and 100% feeding tube dependency. Use of a PFT in this veteran population with stage III/IV head and neck cancer produced better outcomes when compared to both an RFT or no feeding tube without higher rates of long-term dysphagia. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2014.
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    ABSTRACT: Emerging research suggests that preventative swallowing rehabilitation, undertaken before or during (chemo)radiotherapy ([C]RT), can significantly improve early swallowing outcomes for head and neck cancer (HNC) patients. However, these treatment protocols are highly variable. Determining specific physiological swallowing parameters that are most likely to be impacted post-(C)RT would assist in refining clear targets for preventative rehabilitation. Therefore, this systematic review (1) examined the frequency and prevalence of physiological swallowing deficits observed post-(C)RT for HNC, and (2) determined the patterns of prevalence of these key physiological deficits over time post-treatment. Online databases were searched for relevant papers published between January 1998 and March 2013. A total of 153 papers were identified and appraised for methodological quality and suitability based on exclusionary criteria. Ultimately, 19 publications met the study's inclusion criteria. Collation of reported prevalence of physiological swallowing deficits revealed reduced laryngeal excursion, base-of-tongue (BOT) dysfunction, reduced pharyngeal contraction, and impaired epiglottic movement as most frequently reported. BOT dysfunction and impaired epiglottic movement showed a collective prevalence of over 75 % in the majority of patient cohorts, whilst reduced laryngeal elevation and pharyngeal contraction had a prevalence of over 50 %. Subanalysis suggested a trend that the prevalence of these key deficits is dynamic although persistent over time. These findings can be used by clinicians to inform preventative intervention and support the use of specific, evidence-based therapy tasks explicitly selected to target the highly prevalent deficits post-(C)RT for HNC.
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