Favorable patient reported outcomes following IMRT for early carcinomas of the tonsillar fossa: Results from a symptom assessment study RADIOTHERAPY AND ONCOLOGY Gunn, G. B., Hansen, C. C., Garden, A. S., Fuller, C. D., Mohamed, A. S., Morrison, W. H., Frank, S. J., Beadle, B. M., Phan, J., Chronowski, G. M., Sturgis, E. M., Lewis, C. M., Lu, C., Hutcheson, K. A., Mendoza, T. R., Cleeland, C. S., Rosenthal, D. I. 2015; 117 (1): 132-138


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