A questionnaire-based study was conducted to assess long-term patient reported outcomes (PROs) following definitive IMRT-based treatment for early stage carcinomas of the tonsillar fossa.Participants had received IMRT with or without systemic therapy for squamous carcinoma of the tonsillar fossa (T1-2 and N0-2b) with a minimum follow-up of 2years. Patients completed a validated head and neck cancer-specific PRO instrument, the MD Anderson Symptom Inventory-Head and Neck module (MDASI-HN). Symptoms were compared between treatment groups of interest and overall symptom burden was evaluated.Of 139 participants analyzed, 51% had received ipsilateral neck IMRT, and 62% single modality IMRT alone (no systemic therapy). There were no differences in mean severity ratings for the top-ranked individual symptoms or symptom interference for those treated with bilateral versus ipsilateral neck IMRT alone. However, 40% of those treated with bilateral versus 25% of those treated with ipsilateral neck RT alone reported moderate-to-severe levels of dry mouth (p=0.03). Fatigue, numbness/tingling, and constipation were rated more severe for those who had received systemic therapy (p<0.05 for each), but absolute differences were small. Overall, 51% had no more than mild symptom ratings across all 22 symptoms assessed.The long-term patient reported symptom profile in this cohort of tonsil cancer survivors treated with definitive IMRT-based treatment showed a majority of patients with no more than mild symptoms, low symptom interference, and provides an opportunity for future comparison studies with other treatment approaches.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.radonc.2015.09.007
View details for PubMedID 26403258