[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Induction chemotherapy (IC) followed by chemoradiation (CRT) for locally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer (SCCHN) remains controversial in the absence of clear evidence to define its role. As part of a prospective, randomised, multicentre study of CRT for stage III/IV laryngeal/hypopharyngeal cancers (ART DECO, CRUK/10/018), we have examined the attitudes of oncologists in the United Kingdom (UK) to IC.
Head and neck oncologists across the UK who expressed an interest in participating in the ART DECO trial were asked to complete a short written questionnaire designed to identify current UK practice of IC for stage III-IVb SCCHN. Completed questionnaires were returned to the clinical trials office prior to patient recruitment.
Clinicians from twenty-five/48 centres (52.1%) responded. Twenty centres (80%) elected to use IC in the trial. For stage III disease, 80% of centres did not prescribe IC for T1N1 disease and 60% did not offer IC for T3N0 disease. Patients with bulky primary tumours or extensive nodal disease were more likely to receive IC. Thirteen prescribing centres (65%) use 3 drugs (docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil) compared to 7 (35%) using 2 drugs (cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil). Fifteen centres (75%) prescribed 2 cycles of IC, and 5 (25%) prescribed 3 cycles. There was variation in the dosage for both the 2- and 3-drug regimens.
Results suggest that clinical practice in the UK is currently divided between a 2- versus 3-drug regimen for IC for specific subgroups of patients. A consensus regarding the optimal combinations and dosages is required before further optimization of systemic therapy with other cytotoxics and biological agents is attempted.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fatigue during head and neck radiotherapy may be related to radiation dose to the central nervous system (CNS). The impact of patient, tumour, and dosimetric variables on acute fatigue was assessed in nasopharyngeal cancer patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy.
Radiation dose to the following retrospectively-delineated CNS structures; brainstem, cerebellum, pituitary gland, pineal gland, hypothalamus, hippocampus and basal ganglia (BG) and clinical variables were related to incidence of ⩾ grade 2 fatigue in 40 patients.
Sixty per cent of patients reported fatigue during and following radiotherapy. Dmean and D2 to the BG and Dmean to the pituitary gland were significantly associated with fatigue during radiation (P<0.01). Dmean to the cerebellum was associated with fatigue following radiotherapy and at any time (P<0.01). After adjusting for clinical factors, an association remained between fatigue during radiotherapy and mean dose and D2 to the pituitary gland and BG (P=0.012, 0.036, 0.009 and 0.018) and mean dose to the cerebellum following radiation and at any time (P=0.042 and 0.029).
Disruption of connections between BG, cerebellum, and higher cortical centres or disruption of pituitary-regulated hormonal balance may be implicated in the pathophysiology of radiation-related fatigue.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 08/2013; · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To describe the dose-response relationships for the different measures of salivary gland recovery following radical radiotherapy for locally advanced head and neck squamous cell cancers (LA-HNSCC). METHODS AND MATERIALS: Dosimetric analysis of data from the PARSPORT trial, a Phase III study of conventional RT (RT) and intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for LA-HNSCC was undertaken to determine the relationship between parotid gland mean dose and toxicity endpoints: high-grade subjective and objective xerostomia and xerostomia-related quality of life scores. LKB-NTCP parameters (TD50, m and n) were generated and tolerance doses (D50) reported using non-linear logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Data were available on 63 patients from the PARSPORT trial. Parotid saliva flow rate provided the strongest association between mean dose and recovery, D50=23.4Gy (20.6-26.2) and k=3.2 (1.9-4.5), R(2)=0.85. Corresponding LKB parameters were TD50=26.3Gy (95% CI: 24.0-30.1), m=0.25 (0.18-1.0 and n=1). LENTSOMA subjective xerostomia also demonstrated a strong association D50=33.3Gy (26.7-39.8), k=2.8 (91.4-4.4), R(2)=0.77). CONCLUSION: We recommend using the LENT SOMA subjective xerostomia score to predict recovery of salivation due to its strong association with dosimetry and ease of recording.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 04/2013; · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: To determine whether concomitant chemotherapy increases the incidence of high grade xerostomia following parotid-sparing intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The incidence of high grade (⩾G2) acute (CTCAEv3.0) and late (LENTSOMA and RTOG) xerostomia was compared between patients treated with either IMRT or concomitant chemo-IMRT (c-IMRT) in 2 prospective studies. Parotid gland mean tolerance doses (D50) were reported using non-linear logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: Thirty-six patients received IMRT alone and 60 patients received c-IMRT. Patients received 65Gy in 30 daily fractions to the primary site and involved nodal groups and 54Gy in 30 fractions to elective nodal groups, mean doses to the parotid glands were comparable. Concomitant cisplatin 100mg/m(2) was administered on days 1 and 29 of IMRT. The incidence of ⩾G2 subjective xerostomia was similar in both groups; acute-64.7% (IMRT) versus 60.3% (c-IMRT), p=0.83; late-43% (IMRT) versus 34% (c-IMRT), p=0.51. Recovery of parotid salivary flow at 1year was higher with IMRT (64% vs 50%), but not statistically significant (p=0.15). D50 for absence of parotid saliva flow at 1year was 23.2Gy (95% CI: 17.7-28.7) for IMRT and 21.1Gy (11.8-30.3) for c-IMRT. CONCLUSION: Concomitant c-IMRT does not increase the incidence of acute or late xerostomia relative to IMRT alone.
Radiotherapy and Oncology 03/2013; · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Context:Randomized trials show that low-dose (1.1 GBq [30 mCi]) radioiodide (RAI) has efficacy equivalent to high-dose RAI (3.7 GBq [100 mCi]) in thyroid remnant ablation (TRA) for differentiated thyroid cancer. Long-term follow-up is required to ensure detection of late recurrences and to confirm equivalence in terms of survival end points. However, median follow-up duration within randomized trials is currently limited.Patients and Setting:We studied 53 patients undergoing TRA for differentiated thyroid cancer with long-term follow-up in the Thyroid Unit of The Royal Marsden Hospital (Sutton, United Kingdom).Intervention:Patients were treated with TRA using low-dose (1.1 GBq) RAI.Main Outcome Measures:Disease-free survival, overall survival, and the incidence of second malignancies were measured. Multivariable analysis was used to determine clinical risk factors for failure to achieve TRA after low-dose RAI.Results:Median follow-up was 24 (range, 4-34) years. Low-dose RAI TRA was successful in 26 (49%) patients (successful ablation [SA] group), whereas 27 (51%) patients required further treatment (unsuccessful ablation [UA] group). Thirty-year disease-free survival was 92% in the SA group vs 87% in the UA group (P = .601). Thirty-year overall survival was 81% in the SA group vs 62% in the UA group (P = .154). Nine (17%) patients developed second malignancies (4 in the SA group and 5 in the UA group). Predictors of failure to achieve TRA with low-dose RAI were male sex and stage pT4 disease.Conclusions:There is no evidence from long-term follow-up of our cohort that treatment outcomes are compromised for patients that fail TRA with low-dose RAI and subsequently receive high-dose RAI.
The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism 03/2013; · 6.50 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Carboplatin can be substituted for cisplatin in concomitant chemoradiation (CRT) for locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (LASCCHN) when the latter is contraindicated. This matched-pair study aimed to compare the efficacy and acute toxicity of carboplatin and cisplatin. METHODS: Patients treated with 2 cycles of concomitant carboplatin-based CRT were matched to patients treated with 2 cycles of cisplatin. Matching criteria included age, tumour site, stage, smoking status and use of induction chemotherapy. Radiation was delivered using conformal techniques. Data on weekly acute toxicity throughout CRT was compared using the chi-squared test for proportions. Kaplan Meier statistics described time to local relapse, distant relapse and overall survival, the log-rank test was used to compare 3-year survival outcomes. RESULTS: Sixty-five patients who received carboplatin were matched to 65 who received cisplatin. Significant differences in toxicity included increased emesis with cisplatin and more anaemia and thrombocytopenia with carboplatin. There was no significant difference in 3-year locoregional control (87% vs. 79%, p=0.54), freedom from distant metastases (88% vs. 85%, p=0.79) and overall survival (59% vs. 68%, p=0.24) between the carboplatin and cisplatin cohorts, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: When cisplatin is contraindicated, carboplatin-based CRT yields equivalent treatment outcomes in patients with LASCCHN.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of thermoplastic immobilisation masks in head and neck radiotherapy is now common practice. The accuracy of these systems has been widely studied, but always within the context and time frame of the radiation delivery-some 6-8 weeks. There is growing current interest in the use of functional imaging to assess the response to treatment, particularly in the head and neck. It is therefore of interest to determine the accuracy with which functional images can be registered to baseline CT over the extended periods of time used for functional response assessment: 3-6 months after radiotherapy. In this study, repeated contrast-enhanced diagnostic quality CT and mid-quality localisation CT from a positron emission tomography/CT scanner were available for five time points over a period of 9 months (before, during and up to 6 months after chemoradiotherapy) for a series of eight patients enrolled in a clinical pilot study. All images were acquired using thermoplastic immobilisation masks. The overall set-up accuracy obtained from this 9-month study of 5.5±3.2 mm (1 standard deviation) and 1.9±1.3° (1 standard deviation) is in agreement with published data acquired over 6-8 weeks. No statistically significant change in set-up error was seen with time. This work indicates that thermoplastic immobilisation masks can be used to accurately align multimodality functional image data for assessment of the response to treatment in head and neck patients over extended follow-up periods.
The British journal of radiology 12/2012; 85(1020):1576-80. · 2.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is not known whether low-dose radioiodine (1.1 GBq [30 mCi]) is as effective as high-dose radioiodine (3.7 GBq [100 mCi]) for treating patients with differentiated thyroid cancer or whether the effects of radioiodine (especially at a low dose) are influenced by using either recombinant human thyrotropin (thyrotropin alfa) or thyroid hormone withdrawal.
At 29 centers in the United Kingdom, we conducted a randomized noninferiority trial comparing low-dose and high-dose radioiodine, each in combination with either thyrotropin alfa or thyroid hormone withdrawal before ablation. Patients (age range, 16 to 80 years) had tumor stage T1 to T3, with possible spread to nearby lymph nodes but without metastasis. End points were the rate of success of ablation at 6 to 9 months, adverse events, quality of life, and length of hospital stay.
A total of 438 patients underwent randomization; data could be analyzed for 421. Ablation success rates were 85.0% in the group receiving low-dose radioiodine versus 88.9% in the group receiving the high dose and 87.1% in the thyrotropin alfa group versus 86.7% in the group undergoing thyroid hormone withdrawal. All 95% confidence intervals for the differences were within ±10 percentage points, indicating noninferiority. Similar results were found for low-dose radioiodine plus thyrotropin alfa (84.3%) versus high-dose radioiodine plus thyroid hormone withdrawal (87.6%) or high-dose radioiodine plus thyrotropin alfa (90.2%). More patients in the high-dose group than in the low-dose group were hospitalized for at least 3 days (36.3% vs. 13.0%, P<0.001). The proportions of patients with adverse events were 21% in the low-dose group versus 33% in the high-dose group (P=0.007) and 23% in the thyrotropin alfa group versus 30% in the group undergoing thyroid hormone withdrawal (P=0.11).
Low-dose radioiodine plus thyrotropin alfa was as effective as high-dose radioiodine, with a lower rate of adverse events. (Funded by Cancer Research UK; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00415233.).
New England Journal of Medicine 05/2012; 366(18):1674-85. · 51.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Radiotherapy and surgery are the principal curative modalities in treatment of head and neck cancer. Conventional two-dimensional and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy result in significant side effects and altered quality of life. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) can spare the normal tissues, while delivering a curative dose to the tumour-bearing tissues. This article reviews the current role of IMRT in head and neck cancer from the point of view of normal tissue sparing, and also reviews the current published literature by individual head and neck cancer subsites. In addition, we briefly discuss the role of image guidance in head and neck IMRT, and future directions in this area.
The British journal of radiology 05/2012; 85(1013):487-94. · 2.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reovirus type 3 Dearing (RT3D) replicates preferentially in Ras-activated cancers. RT3D shows synergistic in vitro cytotoxicity in combination with platins and taxanes. The purpose of this phase I/II study was to assess RT3D combined with carboplatin/paclitaxel in patients with advanced cancers.
Patients were initially treated in a dose-escalating, phase I trial with intravenous RT3D days 1 to 5, carboplatin [area under curve (AUC) 5, day 1] and paclitaxel (175 mg/m(2), day 1) 3-weekly. RT3D was escalated through three dose levels: 3 × 10(9), 1 × 10(10), and 3 × 10(10) TCID(50) in cohorts of three. Primary endpoints were to define the maximum tolerated dose and dose-limiting toxicity and to recommend a dose for phase II studies. Secondary endpoints included pharmacokinetics, immune response, and antitumor activity. A subsequent phase II study using the 3 × 10(10) TCID(50) dose characterized the response rate in patients with head and neck cancer.
Thirty-one heavily pretreated patients received study therapy. There were no dose-limiting toxicities during dose-escalation and most toxicities were grade I/II. Overall effectiveness rates were as follows: one patient had a complete response (3.8%), six patients (23.1%) had partial response, two patients (7.6%) had major clinical responses clinically evaluated in radiation pretreated lesions which are not evaluable by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), nine patients (34.6%) had stable disease, and eight patients (30.8%) had disease progression. Viral shedding was minimal and antiviral immune responses were attenuated compared with previous single-agent data for RT3D.
The combination of RT3D plus carboplatin/paclitaxel is well tolerated with evidence of activity in cancer of the head and neck. A randomized phase III study is currently open for recruitment.
Clinical Cancer Research 02/2012; 18(7):2080-9. · 7.84 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is increasingly being recognized that oral cavity cancer incidences are rising globally. Furthermore, these tumors represent a high risk group of tumors comparative to other head and neck tumor sub-sites and have a high preponderance of occult nodal metastases. Surgery alone leads to excellent outcomes in early stage disease. Advanced tumors require adjuvant radiotherapy with or without concomitant chemotherapy. Irradiation using 3D conformal radiotherapy results in high incidence of late radiation side-effects. Xersostomia and mandibular osteoradionecrosis result in most significant effects on patients' quality of life. Intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is an advanced approach to 3-D treatment planning and conformal therapy (3D-CRT). It optimizes the delivery of irradiation to irregularly-shaped volumes and has the ability to produce concavities in radiation treatment volumes and hence enables sparing of normal tissue while delivering adequate doses to the tumor volumes. In this manuscript, we discuss the advantages of IMRT based on review of published peer reviewed literature.
Journal of cancer research and therapeutics 01/2012; 8 Suppl 1:S67-71. · 0.83 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We undertook a service evaluation to establish how oropharyngeal dysphagia is managed in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiotherapy in the United Kingdom. A web-based survey including 23 open and closed questions was distributed to Speech and Language Therapy (SLT) teams via a national network of Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) special interest groups with members involved in head and neck cancer care. Forty-six teams responded to the survey and 89% completed the questionnaire fully. Fifty percent (n=21/42) of the SLT teams reported routinely seeing patients prior to commencing radiotherapy. Baseline oromotor assessment (85.7% (n=36/42)), clinical dysphagia assessment (90.5% (n=38/42)) and information provision on the potential treatment effects on swallowing (97.6% (n=41/42)) and communication ability (85.7% (n=36/42)) were the most common components of initial evaluation. In keeping with expert opinion and emerging evidence, prophylactic swallowing exercises were administered by 71.4% (n=30/42) of teams targeting specific aspects of swallowing, although the nature, intensity and duration of programmes varied. A range of measures are used to monitor progress during treatment. Our survey highlighted that resource limitations affect service provision with some teams managing the consequences of treatment rather than proactive multidisciplinary intervention prior to and during treatment. Cancer- and treatment-related dysphagia can impact significantly on a broad range of outcomes following radiotherapy. There is variability in dysphagia service provision to patients before, during and following treatment. Comprehensive evaluation of swallowing function prior to treatment and proactive management can yield benefits for patients, inform multidisciplinary case management and support those involved in clinical trials to accurately determine treatment effects.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Xerostomia is the most common late side-effect of radiotherapy to the head and neck. Compared with conventional radiotherapy, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) can reduce irradiation of the parotid glands. We assessed the hypothesis that parotid-sparing IMRT reduces the incidence of severe xerostomia.
We undertook a randomised controlled trial between Jan 21, 2003, and Dec 7, 2007, that compared conventional radiotherapy (control) with parotid-sparing IMRT. We randomly assigned patients with histologically confirmed pharyngeal squamous-cell carcinoma (T1-4, N0-3, M0) at six UK radiotherapy centres between the two radiotherapy techniques (1:1 ratio). A dose of 60 or 65 Gy was prescribed in 30 daily fractions given Monday to Friday. Treatment was not masked. Randomisation was by computer-generated permuted blocks and was stratified by centre and tumour site. Our primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with grade 2 or worse xerostomia at 12 months, as assessed by the Late Effects of Normal Tissue (LENT SOMA) scale. Analyses were done on an intention-to-treat basis, with all patients who had assessments included. Long-term follow-up of patients is ongoing. This study is registered with the International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial register, number ISRCTN48243537.
47 patients were assigned to each treatment arm. Median follow-up was 44·0 months (IQR 30·0-59·7). Six patients from each group died before 12 months and seven patients from the conventional radiotherapy and two from the IMRT group were not assessed at 12 months. At 12 months xerostomia side-effects were reported in 73 of 82 alive patients; grade 2 or worse xerostomia at 12 months was significantly lower in the IMRT group than in the conventional radiotherapy group (25 [74%; 95% CI 56-87] of 34 patients given conventional radiotherapy vs 15 [38%; 23-55] of 39 given IMRT, p=0·0027). The only recorded acute adverse event of grade 2 or worse that differed significantly between the treatment groups was fatigue, which was more prevalent in the IMRT group (18 [41%; 99% CI 23-61] of 44 patients given conventional radiotherapy vs 35 [74%; 55-89] of 47 given IMRT, p=0·0015). At 24 months, grade 2 or worse xerostomia was significantly less common with IMRT than with conventional radiotherapy (20 [83%; 95% CI 63-95] of 24 patients given conventional radiotherapy vs nine [29%; 14-48] of 31 given IMRT; p<0·0001). At 12 and 24 months, significant benefits were seen in recovery of saliva secretion with IMRT compared with conventional radiotherapy, as were clinically significant improvements in dry-mouth-specific and global quality of life scores. At 24 months, no significant differences were seen between randomised groups in non-xerostomia late toxicities, locoregional control, or overall survival.
Sparing the parotid glands with IMRT significantly reduces the incidence of xerostomia and leads to recovery of saliva secretion and improvements in associated quality of life, and thus strongly supports a role for IMRT in squamous-cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Cancer Research UK (CRUK/03/005).
The lancet oncology 02/2011; 12(2):127-36. · 14.47 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the safety and outcomes of induction chemotherapy followed by dose-escalated intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with concomitant chemotherapy in locally advanced squamous cell cancer of the larynx and hypopharynx (LA-SCCL/H).
A sequential cohort Phase I/II trial design was used to evaluate moderate acceleration and dose escalation. Patients with LA-SCCL/H received IMRT at two dose levels (DL): DL1, 63 Gy/28 fractions (Fx) to planning target volume 1 (PTV1) and 51.8 Gy/28 Fx to PTV2; DL2, 67.2 Gy/28 Fx and 56 Gy/28 Fx to PTV1 and PTV2, respectively. Patients received induction cisplatin/5-fluorouracil and concomitant cisplatin. Acute and late toxicities and tumor control rates were recorded.
Between September 2002 and January 2008, 60 patients (29 DL1, 31 DL2) with Stage III (41% DL1, 52% DL2) and Stage IV (52% DL1, 48% DL2) disease were recruited. Median (range) follow-up for DL1 was 51.2 (12.1-77.3) months and for DL2 was 36.2 (4.2-63.3) months. Acute Grade 3 (G3) dysphagia was higher in DL2 (87% DL2 vs. 59% DL1), but other toxicities were equivalent. One patient in DL1 required dilatation of a pharyngeal stricture (G3 dysphagia). In DL2, 2 patients developed benign pharyngeal strictures at 1 year. One underwent a laryngo-pharyngectomy and the other a dilatation. No other G3/G4 toxicities were reported. Overall complete response was 79% (DL1) and 84% (DL2). Two-year locoregional progression-free survival rates were 64.2% (95% confidence interval, 43.5-78.9%) in DL1 and 78.4% (58.1-89.7%) in DL2. Two-year laryngeal preservation rates were 88.7% (68.5-96.3%) in DL1 and 96.4% (77.7-99.5%) in DL2.
At a mean follow-up of 36 months, dose-escalated chemotherapy-IMRT at DL2 has so far been safe to deliver. In this study, DL2 delivered high rates of locoregional control, progression-free survival, and organ preservation and has been selected as the experimental arm in a Cancer Research UK Phase III study.
International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 01/2011; 82(2):539-47. · 4.59 Impact Factor