Results of a randomized phase III study of dysphagia-optimized intensity modulated radiotherapy (Do-IMRT) versus standard IMRT (S-IMRT) in head and neck cancer (2020)

Type of publication:
Conference abstract

Nutting C.; Rooney K.; Foran B.; *Pettit L.; Beasley M.; Finneran L.; Roe J.; Tyler J.; Roques T.; Cook A.; Petkar I.; Bhide S.; Srinivasan D.; Boon C.; De Winton E.; Frogley R.; Mertens K.; Emson M.; Hall E.

Journal of Clinical Oncology; 2020; vol. 38 (no. 15)

Background: Most newly diagnosed oro-& hypopharngeal cancers (OPC, HPC) are treated with (chemo)RT with curative intent but at the consequence of adverse effects on quality of life. CRUK/14/014 investigated if using Do-IMRT to reduce RT dose to the dysphagia/aspiration related structures (DARS) improved swallowing function compared to S-IMRT. Method(s): Patients with T1-4, N0-3, M0 OPC/HPC were randomised 1:1 to S-IMRT (65 Gray (Gy)/30 fractions (f) to primary&nodal tumour; 54Gy/30f to remaining pharyngeal subsite&nodal areas at risk of microscopic disease) or Do-IMRT. The volume of the superior∣dle pharyngeal constrictor muscle (PCM) (OPC) or inferior PCM (HPC) lying outside the high-dose target volume was set a mandatory mean dose constraint in Do-IMRT. Treatment allocation was by minimisation balanced by centre, use of induction/concomitant chemotherapy, tumour site&AJCC stage. Primary endpoint was mean MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI) composite score 12 months after RT with 102 patients needed to detect a 10 point improvement (assuming S-IMRT score of 72, standard deviation (SD) 13.8; 90% power, 2-sided 5% alpha). Patients were blind to treatment allocation. Secondary endpoints included local control. Result(s): 112 patients (56 S-IMRT, 56 Do-IMRT) were randomised from 22 UK centres from 06/2016 to 04/2018. Mean age was 57 years; 80% were male; 97% had OPC; 90% had AJCC stage 3&4 disease; 86% had concomitant chemotherapy only, 4% induction&concomitant and 10% no chemotherapy. 111/112 had RT doses as prescribed (1 patient died before RT). Median of the mean inferior PCM dose was S-IMRT 49.8Gy (IQR 47.1-52.4) vs. Do-IMRT 28.4Gy (21.3-37.4), p < 0.0001; superior∣dle PCM dose was S-IMRT 57.2Gy (56.3-58.3) vs. Do-IMRT 49.7Gy (49.4-49.9), p < 0.0001. Do-IMRT had significantly higher MDADI scores: S-IMRT 70.3 (SD 17.3) vs. Do-IMRT 77.7 (16.1), p = 0.016. 3 local recurrences (1 S-IMRT, 2 Do-IMRT) have been reported. Conclusion(s): Do-IMRT reduced RT dose to the DARS and improved patient reported swallowing function compared with S-IMRT. This is the first randomised study to demonstrate functional benefit of swallow-sparing IMRT in OPC.

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