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Newer radiation treatment easier for some throat cancer patients
Date:11/30/2007

s with poor quality of life.

IMRT is a new technology that is different from CRT. It uses multiple radiation beams that are broken up into many smaller beamlets. This allows radiation oncologists to precisely target the radiation to the tumor and spare the adjacent normal structures from high doses of radiation. The functions of these structures, especially the salivary glands, are preserved.

The study involved 53 patients from the database of the Outcomes Assessment Project funded by National Institutes of Health. This is an ongoing longitudinal study initiated more than 10 years ago to prospectively collect outcome data from individuals diagnosed with carcinomas of the upper aerodigestive tract. Twenty-six of the studys patients were treated with IMRT, and 27 were treated using CRT.

The data used in the study were collected before treatment began and at 3, 6 and 12 months after treatment ended. Participants were also required to complete quality of life surveys, which scored patients eating, speech, aesthetics (e.g. changes in their physical appearance), and social disruption (e.g. changes in how they interact with others) during the various time points.

The study found that at 12 months after treatment ended, the patients treated with IMRT had better health-related quality of life in all four scored areas; however, the greatest difference in quality of life between the two treatment groups was seen in eating. Patients treated with IMRT were found to have improvement in their eating six months after treatment and continued to improve during the first 12 months after treatment. Patients who received CRT continued to deteriorate after six months with minimal improvement after 12 months.


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Contact: Beth Bukata
bethb@astro.org
703-839-7332
American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
Source:Eurekalert

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