Indexed on: 26 Jun '12Published on: 26 Jun '12Published in: Radiotherapy & Oncology
This secondary analysis was performed to identify predictive factors for severe late radiotherapy (RT)-related toxicity after treatment with hyperfractionated RT +/- concomitant cisplatin in locally advanced head and neck cancer.Patients were retrospectively analyzed from the previously reported randomized phase III trial: SAKK 10/94. Severe late RT-related toxicity was defined as late RTOG ≥ grade 3 toxicity starting 3 months after end of RT and/or potential treatment-related death within 3 years of randomization.Two hundred and thirteen randomized patients were analyzed; 84 (39%) experienced severe late RT-related toxicity. With median follow-up of 9.7 years (range, 0.4-15.4 years), median time to severe late RT-related toxicity was 9.6 years. In the univariate Cox proportional hazards model the following variables were associated with severe late RT-related toxicity: advanced N-classification (p<0.001); technically unresectable disease (p=0.04); weight loss ratio (p=0.003); supportive measures (p=0.009) and severe acute dysphagia (p=0.001). In the subsequent multivariate analysis all variables except use of supportive measures remained statistically significant.Chemotherapy did not appear to affect severe late RT-related toxicity, but advanced N-classification, technically unresectable disease, weight loss ratio, and severe acute dysphagia were independent predictive factors for severe late RT-related toxicity.