Swallowing, nutrition and patient-rated functional outcomes at 6 months following two non-surgical treatments for T1-T3 oropharyngeal cancer
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Purpose Altered fractionation radiotherapy with concomitant boost (AFRT-CB) may be considered an alternative treatment for patients not appropriate for chemoradiation (CRT). As functional outcomes following AFRT-CB have been minimally reported, this exploratory paper describes the outcomes of patients managed with AFRT-CB or CRT at 6 months posttreatment. Methods Using a cross-sectional analysis design, functional outcomes of 14 AFRT-CB and 17 CRT patients with T1-T3 oropharyngeal cancers were explored at 6 months posttreatment. Clinical and instrumental swallow assessments, weight and nutritional status, and the functional impact of treatment were examined. Results Inferior outcomes were observed for the CRT patients on the RBHOMS (p=0.03) which was reflected in diet and fluid restrictions with 18% of the CRT group requiring modified fluids and diets. Although a trend (p= 0.07) was noted for increased lingual deficits and aspiration risk for fluids in the CRT group, no other significant differences were observed. Both groups experienced an average of 10 kg weight loss and reported reduced general and swallowing-related function. Conclusions These preliminary data suggest functional outcomes following AFRT-CB and CRT were largely comparable at 6 months post-treatment. Treatment intensification in any form may contribute to impaired function which requires multidimensional intervention. Larger cohort investigations with systematic methodology are needed to further examine these initial findings.
Supportive Care in Cancer
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified