Radiotherapy for cutaneous head and neck cancer and parotid tumours: a prospective investigation of treatment-related acute swallowing and toxicity patterns.
Support Care Cancer. 2018 Jul 17;:
Authors: Moroney LB, Helios J, Ward EC, Crombie J, Burns CL, Yeo SQ, Pelecanos A, Spurgin AL, Blake C, Kenny L, Chua B, Hughes BGM
PURPOSE: Reports of acute treatment-related dysphagia and toxicities for patients with parotid tumours or cutaneous head and neck cancer (HNC) are limited. This study aimed to describe the severity and timing of dysphagia and related toxicities experienced during radiotherapy for cutaneous HNC and parotid tumours, to inform the nature of future speech pathology (SP) service models required during treatment.
METHODS: Prospective study of 32 patients with parotid tumours and 36 with cutaneous HNC undergoing curative non-surgical management. Dysphagia and acute toxicity data was collected weekly during treatment and at 2, 4 and 12 weeks post-treatment using the Functional Oral Intake Scale, diet descriptors and CTCAE v4.0.
RESULTS: In both groups, minimal treatment toxicities (grades 0-1) were observed. Xerostomia and dysgeusia were the most frequently reported grade 2 toxicities. Only 3% of parotid patients and 6% with cutaneous HNC experienced grade 3 dysphagia. Full or soft texture diets were maintained by > 70% of patients in both groups. Symptoms peaked in the final week of treatment and rapidly improved thereafter. Apart from xerostomia < 10% of patients had any grade 2 toxicity at 12 weeks post-treatment.
CONCLUSION: Patients in these subgroups of HNC experienced minimal treatment-related toxicity during radiotherapy. As such, the need for supportive symptom management by SP is low. Models that involve interdisciplinary surveillance of symptoms with referral to SP only when required may be best suited for these individuals to ensure issues are identified whilst minimising patient burden created by unnecessary routine SP appointments.
PMID: 30019149 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]