PALLIATIVE CHEMORADIOTHERAPY VERSUS RADIOTHERAPY ALONE FOR MANAGEMENT OF LOCALLY ADVANCED HEAD & NECK CARCINOMA PATIENTS WITH POOR PERFORMANCE STATUSAbstract
Introduction: Palliative external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and chemotherapy is commonly practiced for management of locally advanced head & neck carcinoma (LAHNC) patients with poor performance status. This study compares EBRT alone and EBRT along with low dose Gemcitabine.
Method: Study was conducted in Department of Radiotherapy, PGIMS Rohtak, in 2008-09; on histopathologically proven, untreated 60 cases of LAHNC, having KPS 60-70. Patients were randomly assigned either control group (n=30), given EBRT alone as 20Gy/5Fr/5days or study group (n=30), given EBRT as 20Gy/ 5Fr/ 5days and Gemcitabine 200 mg/m2 i.v. 2 hour prior to radiotherapy on day 1. Mean age was 53 years (26-84 years). Male:female ratio was 5:1. Most common primary site was base of tongue followed by larynx. Major symptoms were pain, difficulty in swallowing and altered voice. Patients were staged as per AJCC 2002; 2/3rd were stage IVA and 1/3rd were IVB. Despite randomization, there was no significant difference between two groups in age, sex, primary site, stage, and performance status. The side effects were graded as per RTOG criteria.
Results: Objective response, 3 months post-treatment, in the chemoradiotherapy and radiotherapy alone group respectively was: CR 7% vs 0%; PR 30% vs 33%; stable disease 56% vs 46% and progressive disease 7% vs 20%. Subjective response, similarly was better in study group through out; even significantly better in dysphagia at 3 months follow up. Acute skin reactions were: Grade I- 73% vs 47% at 2 weeks and 60% vs 40% at 1 month respectively. Acute mucosal reactions were: Grade I- 30% vs 17%, Grade II- 43% vs 17% respectively. No hematological and grade III/IV skin or mucosal reactions observed. Differences in reactions were not statistically significant.
Conclusion: In management of LAHNC patients with poor performance status, addition of low dose Gemcitabine to palliative radiotherapy gives better disease control and symptomatic relief without unmanageable side effects.
Dinesh Ranga, Yashpal Verma, Ashok K. Chauhan, Ramesh Sabharwal, Mukesh Bharti
Dr Yashpal Verma, Medical Officer, Department of Radiotherapy, Post-graduate institute of medical sciences, Rohtak (INDIA).
31 March, 2016
08 June, 2016
24 June, 2016