Impact on quality of life of IMRT versus 3-D conformal radiation therapy in head and neck cancer patients: A case control study.
Adv Radiat Oncol. 2017 Jul-Sep;2(3):346-353
Authors: Abel E, Silander E, Nyman J, Bove M, Johansson L, Björk-Eriksson T, Hammerlid E
Objective: The purpose of this study was to prospectively and longitudinally compare the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) outcomes between head and neck (HN) cancer patients treated with parotid-sparing intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and patients treated with 3-dimensional conventional radiation therapy (3D-CRT).
Methods and materials: Before and up to 12 months after treatment, HRQOL was recorded in patients with HN cancer who were referred to the Department of Oncology at Sahlgrenska University Hospital for curative IMRT. The study group’s HRQOL was compared with a matched group of patients from previous descriptive HRQOL studies treated with 3D-CRT. Both groups’ HRQOL was measured by the European Organization for Research and Treatment for Cancer QLQ-C30 and European Organization for Research and Treatment for Cancer QLQ-HN35 at 6 time points in the first year after diagnosis.
Results: Two hundred and seven patients were included, 111 treated with IMRT and 96 matched controls treated with 3D-CRT. Both groups’ HRQOL deteriorated during and after treatment. Just after treatment, worse HRQOL scores were observed in the IMRT group regarding insomnia (38 vs 27; P = .032), appetite loss (64 vs 50; P = .019), senses (54 vs 41; P = .017), and coughing (39 vs 26, P = .009). At 12 months, however, significantly better HRQOL scores were observed in the IMRT group regarding problems with dry mouth (72 vs 62; P = .018), pain (28 vs 20; P = .018), sexuality (37 vs 23; P = .016), social contacts (10 vs 6; P = .026), cognitive functioning (79 vs 87; P = .0057), and financial difficulties (12 vs 20; P = .0019).
Conclusions: This study further supports the hypothesis that the introduction of IMRT has improved the long-term quality of life of HN cancer patients who have been treated with radiation therapy, but might cause more acute side effects. Longer follow-up is needed to study late complications.
PMID: 29114602 [PubMed]