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Cancer Treat Rev. 2017 Mar;54:110-121. doi: 10.1016/j.ctrv.2017.02.003. Epub 2017 Feb 16.

A systematic review of smell alterations after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
2
Dipartimento di Scienze della Sanità Pubblica e Pediatriche, Università degli Studi di Torino, Italy.
3
John W. Scott Health Sciences Library, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
4
Department of Radiation Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, AB, Canada.
5
Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada. Electronic address: wwismer@ualberta.ca.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To review the current knowledge on radiotherapy associated olfactory dysfunction among head and neck cancer (HNC) patients.

METHODS:

A systematic review of RT-related olfactory dysfunction in HNC was performed. Searches were conducted in several databases (Medline, EMBASE, CINAHL, CAB Abstracts, SCOPUS, Proquest Dissertations and Theses, PROSPERO, ALLEBM Reviews - Cochrane DSR, ACP Journal Club, DARE, CCTR, CMR, HTA, and NHSEED). Publications investigating olfactory dysfunction as an explicit side effect of Radiotherapy (RT, or RT-chemo or RT-monoclonal antibodies) were eligible, no limits were applied.

RESULTS:

Two hundred and twenty-nine papers were screened and 23 met inclusion criteria.

CONCLUSIONS:

Odor detection, identification and discrimination are olfactory functions impaired after RT for HNC. An RT dose-effect has been calculated for odor identification and odor discrimination. There were no studies of the effect of olfactory dysfunction on weight loss or energy intake among RT-treated HNC patients. To improve our understanding of RT associated olfactory dysfunction among HNC patients, future studies should include a multi-dimensional assessment of olfactory function in a longitudinal design, track other conditions affecting olfaction, assess retronasal olfactory perception, adopt validated self-report tools and explore the impact of olfactory dysfunction on the eating experience of HNC patients.

KEYWORDS:

Head and neck cancer; Odor detection; Odor discrimination; Odor recognition; Olfaction; Olfactory dysfunction; Radiotherapy; Smell alterations

PMID:
28242521
DOI:
10.1016/j.ctrv.2017.02.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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