A B Miah 1 , U Schick 1 , S A Bhide 1 , 2 , M-T Guerrero-Urbano 1 , 2 , C H Clark 2 , 3 , A M Bidmead 2 , 3 , S Bodla 4 , L Del Rosario 1 , K Thway 5 , P Wilson 6 , K L Newbold 1 , K J Harrington 1 , 2 , C M Nutting 1 , 2 , *
04 December 2014
To determine the feasibility of induction chemotherapy and chemo-IMRT in head and neck squamous cell cancers at risk of bilateral nodal spread (midline tumours) and to evaluate whether bilateral superficial lobe parotid-sparing IMRT can reduce the incidence of ⩾G2 subjective xerostomia.
Patients with midline tumours were enrolled to a phase II trial to receive induction platinum/5-fluorouracil and concomitant platinum with combined superficial lobe parotid-sparing IMRT. The primary site and involved nodal levels received 65 Gy in 30 fractions (f) and at risk nodal levels, 54 Gy/30f. Incidence of ⩾G2 subjective xerostomia was defined as the primary endpoint. Secondary endpoints included incidences of acute and late toxicities and survival outcomes dependent on human papilloma virus (HPV) status.
One hundred and twenty patients with midline cancers completed treatment between December 2005 and May 2010 with median follow-up of 50 months. Incidences of ⩾G2 acute toxicities were: dysphagia 75% xerostomia 65% mucositis 86% pain 83% and fatigue 64%. At 12 months, ⩾G2 subjective xerostomia was observed in 21% (17% in HPV +ve). Two-year loco-regional progression-free survival (PFS) was 90.7% (95% CI: 85.2–96.2). According to HPV status, there was a significant difference for 2-year loco-regional PFS, 76.8% (HPV-negative) vs 98.6% (HPV-positive), P=0.001. 2-year overall survival was 93% for HPV-positive compared with 52% for HPV-negative cases, P<0.001.
Sequential chemotherapy/chemo-IMRT for midline tumours is feasible, with excellent survival outcomes. At 1 year, 21% experience ⩾G2 subjective xerostomia. Two-year survival outcomes differ significantly between HPV-positive and HPV-negative disease, suggesting development of different treatment schedules for the different disease entities.