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South Asian J Cancer. 2019 Jan-Mar;8(1):47-51. doi: 10.4103/sajc.sajc_7_18.

A comparative study of treatment outcome in younger and older patients with locally advanced oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers treated by chemoradiation.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.



Evidence suggests that older patients with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers may behave differently from their younger peers.


The aim of this study is to determine if there is difference in responses, survival, and toxicities between young patients (≤40 years of age) with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers and older patients (>40 years of age) treated with concurrent chemoradiation.

Materials and Methods:

Sixty-one patients with unresectable, locally advanced oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers received concomitant chemoradiation to a dose of 70 Gray in 35 fractions over 7 weeks with concomitant weekly cisplatin (40 mg/m2). These patients were then distributed in two arms. Arm-A patients having age ≤40 years and Arm-B patients having age >40 years, and the two arms were assessed for treatment outcome.


The overall response rate (complete responders + partial responders) evaluated using response evaluation criteria in solid tumors criteria version 1.1 was equivalent in both groups (80.76% in Arm-A and 74.28% in Arm-B; P = 0.93). Older patients (>40 years) experienced more acute mucositis and xerostomia (P < 0.5); although not statistically significant, more acute skin and pharynx toxicities were also observed in this group. Higher late salivary gland toxicity (P < 0.5) was also seen in older patients; however, disease-free survival and progression-free survival were found to be similar in both groups.


Older patients with locally advanced oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers have similar response rates and survival as compared to their younger counterparts but may experience higher treatment-related toxicities.


Concurrent chemoradiation; disease-free survival; mucositis; oropharyngeal cancer; xerostomia

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