Continuous hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy with/without mitomycin C in head and neck cancers

  • Dobrowsky W
  • Naudé J
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Abstract

Background and purpose: Radiation therapy is often the primary treatment for advanced cases of head and neck cancers not considered suitable for radical surgery. In these cases locoregional tumour control rates are low and has warranted innovative treatment modifications, such as altered fractionation schedules and combination with chemotherapy. Patients and methods: From October 1990 to December 1997, 239 patients with squamous cell cancers originating in the head and neck region were randomized to one of three treatment options. Standard therapy consisting of conventional fractionation with 70 Gy in 7 weeks in 35 fractions (CF). The second treatment option consisted of a continuous hyperfractionated accelerated radiotherapy delivering a total dose of 55.3 Gy in 33 fractions over 17 consecutive days (V-CHART). The third study arm had identical fractionation and dose as the above accelerated treatment, with the additional administration of 20 mg/m2mitomycin C (MMC) on day 5 of treatment (V-CHART+MMC). Results: Main toxicity resulted from accelerated fractionation in confluent mucositis (Grade 3-4 in 95%) requiring nasogastral tube feeding, analgetics and antiphlogistics in the majority of cases. Haematological toxicity Grade 3-4 was seen after MMC administration in 18%. MMC administration did not influence mucosal reaction. Overall duration of mucositis was not different in the three treatment groups. Loco-regional tumour control was 31% after CF, 32% after V-CHART and 48% after V-CHART+MMC, respectively (P

Author-supplied keywords

  • Accelerated fractionation
  • Combined radio-chemotherapy
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Mitomycin C

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Authors

  • Werner Dobrowsky

  • Jonathan Naudé

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