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Keywords:

  • quality of life;
  • chemoradiation;
  • intra-arterial infusion;
  • IV infusion;
  • head and neck cancer;
  • advanced stage

Abstract

Background.

We report the results of a multicenter randomized phase III study, assessing quality of life (QOL) in intra-arterial (IA) versus standard intravenous (IV) chemoradiation in advanced head and neck cancer.

Methods.

Two hundred seven patients with inoperable stage IV disease—152 men and 55 women; mean age, 55 years—were included in this study. The patients were treated with standard radiotherapy with 4 weekly IA or 3 weekly IV cisplatin infusions. The QOL assessments carried out were EORTC-C30, H&N35, and trial-specific questionnaires.

Results.

Overall QOL deteriorated in all patients during treatment, is gradually improving over 1 year. IA patients showed significantly less nausea and vomiting at week 7 (p <.001). IV patients were significantly more fatigued (p <.006). At 1 year, no significant difference in tube feeding was found. Voice quality slightly exceeded the pretreatment values at 1 year. Forty-two of 62 employed patients returned to work.

Conclusion.

During treatment, significantly fewer problems with nausea and vomiting occurred in IA than in IV patients. Both groups showed improved voicing and oral intake during follow-up, often exceeding pretreatment values at 1 year. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2009