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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1995 Jun 15;32(3):589-97.

Randomized phase I/II trial of two variants of accelerated fractionated radiotherapy regimens for advanced head and neck cancer: results of RTOG 88-09.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California San Francisco 94143-0226, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To establish the feasibility of performing split-course accelerated hyperfractionation (AHFX-S) and concomitant boost accelerated fractionation radiotherapy (AFX-C) for advanced head and neck cancer in a multi-institutional cooperative trial setting and to evaluate the tumor clearance rate and acute and late toxicity of these fractionation schedules.

METHODS AND MATERIALS:

Between February 1989 and January 1990, 75 patients with Stage III or IV squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck were randomized to receive: (a) AHFX-S: 1.6 Gy/fraction, twice daily (6-h interval), 5 days/week, to a total dose of 67.2 Gy/42 fractions/6 weeks, with a 2-week rest after 38.4 Gy; or (b) AFX-C: 1.8 Gy/fraction/day, 5 daily fractions/week to 54 Gy/30 fractions/6 weeks to a large field and 1.5 Gy/fraction/day to a boost field, 6 h after large field treatment during the last 11 treatment days, to a total dose of 70.5 Gy/41 fractions/6 weeks. Acute and late toxicities were scored according to the RTOG normal tissue reaction scales and tumor clearance was evaluated at completion of therapy and at regular intervals thereafter.

RESULTS:

Of the 70 analyzable patients, 38 received AHFX-S and 32 received AFX-C. The two arms were balanced with respect to sex, age, T-stage, and Karnofsky Performance Status (KPS). However, the AHFX-S arm had a higher proportion of oropharyngeal primaries (63% vs. 44%), and Stage IV disease (82% vs. 50%) and lower proportion of oral cavity lesions (3% vs. 22%) and N0 disease (16% vs. 31%) than the AFX-C arm. The median follow-up was 2 years (range: 0.03-4.87 years). Tolerance of both variants of accelerated fractionated radiotherapy was satisfactory. There was no significant difference in local-regional control, disease-free survival, or survival between the two arms. The 2-year local-regional failure rate, survival, and disease-free survival was 50, 50, and 40%, respectively, for the entire group of patients. Acute radiation mucositis was increased in both arms. There was no significant difference in the incidence of grade 3 acute toxicities (63% vs. 56%) and grade 3 (14% vs. 14%) or grade 4 (6% vs. 17%) late toxicities. Permanent grade 4 late toxicity was observed in 6 and 7% of the patients, respectively.

CONCLUSION:

Results of this randomized Phase I/II trial showed that the two accelerated fractionated schedules studied can be successfully given in a multi-institutional cooperative trial. There was no significant difference in acute or late toxicities, local-regional control, disease-free survival, or survival in this small scale study. Therefore, a Phase III trial comparing the relative efficacy of these two accelerated fractionation schedules against standard fractionation and hyperfractionation has been activated.

Comment in

PMID:
7790243
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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