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Indian J Palliat Care. 2019 Oct-Dec;25(4):527-534. doi: 10.4103/IJPC.IJPC_209_18.

Conventional Fractionation versus Quad Shot in Advanced Head-and-Neck Cancers: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

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1
Department of Radiotherapy, Vardhman Mahavir Medical College and Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi, India.

Abstract

Context:

A significant number of patients with head-and-neck cancers have an incurable disease with limited life expectancy. The objective of the present study was to compare two different short courses of hypofractionated palliative radiotherapy regimens to evaluate symptoms, disease response, and acute toxicity.

Materials and Methods:

Previously untreated 50 patients of Stage IV B and IV C head and neck cancers were randomized to receive conventional hypofractionated palliative radiotherapy 30 Gy/10 fractions/2 weeks (control group) or Quad Shot regimen (study group) 14 Gy in 4 fractions given twice a day at least 6 h apart for 2 consecutive days. This regimen was repeated at 4 weekly intervals for a further two courses if there was no tumor progression.

Results:

Symptom relief was similar among the two schedules for pain (60.86 vs. 57.17), dysphagia (60.86 vs. 52.17%), and hoarseness (43.85 vs. 38.09%). Overall response (that is partial response and stable disease) was seen in majority (>70%) of the patients in both the groups. Treatment was very well tolerated with no patient experiencing more than Grade 3 toxicity in the control group and Grade 2 toxicity in the study group.

Conclusions:

Quad Shot regimen is an effective hypofractionated palliative radiotherapy schedule with minimal toxicity, good symptom relief, and response rate as compared to conventionally used regimen (30 Gy/10 fractions/2 weeks).

KEYWORDS:

Acute toxicity; Quad Shot regimen; hypofractionated palliative radiotherapy; incurable head; neck cancer; response assessment

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