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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2005 Nov 15;63(4):985-90.

Influence of intravenous amifostine on xerostomia, tumor control, and survival after radiotherapy for head-and- neck cancer: 2-year follow-up of a prospective, randomized, phase III trial.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63110-1046, USA.



To evaluate chronic xerostomia and tumor control 18 and 24 months after initial treatment with amifostine in a randomized controlled trial of patients with head-and-neck cancer; at 12 months after radiotherapy (RT), amifostine had been shown to reduce xerostomia without changing tumor control.


Adults with head-and-neck cancer who underwent once-daily RT for 5-7 weeks (total dose, 50-70 Gy) received either open-label amifostine (200 mg/m2 i.v.) 15-30 min before each fraction of radiation (n = 150) or RT alone (control; n = 153).


Amifostine administration was associated with a reduced incidence of Grade > or =2 xerostomia over 2 years of follow-up (p = 0.002), an increase in the proportion of patients with meaningful (>0.1 g) unstimulated saliva production at 24 months (p = 0.011), and reduced mouth dryness scores on a patient benefit questionnaire at 24 months (p < 0.001). Locoregional control rate, progression-free survival, and overall survival were not significantly different between the amifostine group and the control group.


Amifostine administration during head-and-neck RT reduces the severity and duration of xerostomia 2 years after treatment and does not seem to compromise locoregional control rates, progression-free survival, or overall survival.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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