Publications by authors named "K E Dyker"

35 Publications

Radiotherapy for Oropharyngeal Carcinoma With an Uninvolved Contralateral Neck: The Safety of Omission of Contralateral High Level II and Retropharyngeal Lymph Nodes From Elective Target Volumes.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2021 May 23;33(5):331-339. Epub 2020 Dec 23.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Leeds Cancer Centre, Leeds, UK. Electronic address:

Aims: To analyse outcomes and patterns of failure in patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC) treated with definitive volumetric modulated arc therapy with omission of contralateral high level II lymph nodes (HLII) and retropharyngeal lymph nodes (RPLN) in the contralateral uninvolved neck.

Materials And Methods: Patients with OPC treated between January 2016 and July 2019 were retrospectively identified. In the absence of contralateral neck disease, institutional protocols allowed omission of contralateral HLII and contralateral RPLN in the additional absence of ipsilateral RPLN, soft palate/posterior pharyngeal wall primary.

Results: In total, 238 patients with OPC and an uninvolved contralateral neck received definitive (chemo)radiotherapy with bilateral neck treatment. The median follow-up was 30.6 months. Two-year local control, regional control and overall survival were 91.0, 91.6 and 86.5%, respectively. Contralateral HLII were omitted in 159/238 (66.8%) patients; this included 106 patients in whom the primary tumour was at/crossed the midline. The contralateral RPLN region was omitted from elective target volumes for 175/238 (73.5%); this included 114 patients with a primary tumour at/crossed the midline. The mean contralateral parotid dose when contralateral HLII and RPLN were both omitted was 24.4 Gy, compared with 28.3 Gy without HLII/RPLN omission (P < 0.001). Regional progression occurred in 18/238 (7.6%) patients, all involving the ipsilateral neck with one bilateral. There were no recurrences in the contralateral HLII or RPLN regions.

Conclusion: In patients with OPC and an uninvolved contralateral neck receiving bilateral (chemo)radiotherapy, the omission of contralateral RPLN and HLII from elective target volumes was safe and could lead to reduced contralateral parotid doses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2020.12.007DOI Listing
May 2021

Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer: Evaluation of Triggered Adaptive Replanning in Routine Practice.

Front Oncol 2020 12;10:579917. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Leeds Cancer Center, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, United Kingdom.

Purpose And Objective: A proportion of patients receiving radiotherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) require treatment re-planning. The aim of this retrospective study is to analyze the patients who required re-planning and to identify factors, which may predict need for re-planning.

Materials And Methods: A single center evaluation of all patients receiving radical or adjuvant (chemo)radiotherapy (CRT) for HNSCC between January and December 2016 was undertaken. Patients who underwent re-planning during the treatment were identified in electronic records. Reasons for re-planning were categorized as: weight loss, tumor shrinkage, changes in patient position and immobilization-related factors. Potential trigger factors for adaptive radiotherapy such as patient characteristics, primary tumor site, stage, concomitant chemotherapy, weight loss ratios, radical/adjuvant treatment, and nutritional interventions were investigated.

Results: 31/290 (10.6%) HNSCC patients who underwent radical/adjuvant radiotherapy required re-planning. The adaptive radiotherapy (ART) was performed at a mean fraction of 15. The most common documented reasons for re-planning were tumor shrinkage (35.5%) and weight loss (35.5%). Among the patient/tumor/treatment factors, nasopharyngeal primary site (p = 0.013) and use of concurrent chemotherapy with radiotherapy (p = 0.034) were found to be significantly correlated with the need for re-planning.

Conclusion: Effective on-treatment verification schedules and close follow up of patients especially with NPC primary and/or treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy are crucial to identify patients requiring ART. We suggest an individualized triggered approach to ART rather than scheduled strategies as it is likely to be more feasible in terms of utilization of workload and resources.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fonc.2020.579917DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7690320PMC
November 2020

Post-treatment FDG PET-CT in head and neck carcinoma: comparative analysis of 4 qualitative interpretative criteria in a large patient cohort.

Sci Rep 2020 03 5;10(1):4086. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Department of Radiology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, Leeds, UK.

There is no consensus regarding optimal interpretative criteria (IC) for Fluorine-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) Positron Emission Tomography - Computed Tomography (PET-CT) response assessment following (chemo)radiotherapy (CRT) for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The aim was to compare accuracy of IC (NI-RADS, Porceddu, Hopkins, Deauville) for predicting loco-regional control and progression free survival (PFS). All patients with histologically confirmed HNSCC treated at a specialist cancer centre with curative-intent non-surgical treatment who underwent baseline and response assessment FDG PET-CT between August 2008 and May 2017 were included. Metabolic response was assessed using 4 different IC harmonised into 4-point scales (complete response, indeterminate, partial response, progressive disease). IC performance metrics (sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value (NPV), accuracy) were compared. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazards regression analyses were performed for survival analysis. 562 patients were included (397 oropharynx, 53 hypopharynx, 48 larynx, 64 other/unknown primary). 420 patients (75%) received CRT and 142 (25%) had radiotherapy alone. Median follow-up was 26 months (range 3-148). 156 patients (28%) progressed during follow-up. All IC were accurate for prediction of primary tumour (mean NPV 85.0% (84.6-85.3), PPV 85.0% (82.5-92.3), accuracy 84.9% (84.2-86.0)) and nodal outcome (mean NPV 85.6% (84.1-86.6), PPV 94.7% (93.8-95.1), accuracy 86.8% (85.6-88.0)). Number of indeterminate scores for NI-RADS, Porceddu, Deauville and Hopkins were 91, 25, 20, 13 and 55, 70, 18 and 3 for primary tumour and nodes respectively. PPV was significantly reduced for indeterminate uptake across all IC (mean PPV primary tumour 36%, nodes 48%). Survival analyses showed significant differences in PFS between response categories classified by each of the four IC (p <0.001). All four IC have similar diagnostic performance characteristics although Porceddu and Deauville scores offered the best trade off of minimising indeterminate outcomes whilst maintaining a high NPV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60739-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7058010PMC
March 2020

Retropharyngeal Lymph Node Involvement in Oropharyngeal Carcinoma: Impact upon Risk of Distant Metastases and Survival Outcomes.

Cancers (Basel) 2019 Dec 29;12(1). Epub 2019 Dec 29.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Leeds Cancer Centre, Leeds LS97TF, UK.

The influence of retropharyngeal lymph node (RPLN) involvement on prognosis in oropharyngeal carcinoma remains poorly defined. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of RPLN involvement upon outcomes. A single-centre retrospective analysis of 402 patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma treated nonsurgically between 2010 and 2017 was performed. All had a baseline 2-[fluorine-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) PET-CT and contrast-enhanced MRI and/or CT. RPLN status was determined by radiology review of cases with reported abnormal RPLN. Multivariate backwards logistic regression was used to examine impact on outcomes of factors. Abnormal RPLNs were identified in 40/402 (10%) of patients. Median follow up was 42.9 months. RPLN involvement was associated with inferior 3 year outcomes for overall survival (OS) (67.1% vs. 79.1%, = 0.006) and distant metastases-free survival (DMFS) (73.9% versus 88.0%, = 0.011), with no significant difference in local control (81.6% vs. 87.7%, = 0.154) or regional control (80.7% vs. 85.4%, = 0.252). On multivariate analysis abnormal RPLN, no concurrent chemotherapy and ongoing smoking were associated with inferior DMFS and OS, while advanced T stage was also associated with inferior OS. In summary, RPLN involvement, present in 10% of patients, was an independent prognostic factor for the development of distant disease failure translating into inferior OS. These findings need confirmation in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12010083DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7016660PMC
December 2019

Evaluation of Locoregional Recurrence Patterns Following Adjuvant (Chemo)Radiotherapy for Oral Cavity Carcinoma.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2020 04 23;32(4):228-237. Epub 2019 Oct 23.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Leeds Cancer Centre, Leeds, UK. Electronic address:

Aims: To evaluate patterns of locoregional recurrence following adjuvant (chemo)radiotherapy for oral cavity squamous cell carcinomas.

Materials And Methods: One hundred and one patients who received adjuvant radiotherapy ± chemotherapy for oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma between 2013 and 2016 were analysed. For documented locoregional recurrence, recurrence imaging was deformably co-registered to the planning computed tomography scan. The volume of recurrence was delineated (Vrec). Vrec coverage by 95% of the corresponding planning target volume prescription dose was determined and the location compared with planning target volumes. Sites of recurrence were classified using a combined volume and centroid-based method: (A) central high dose, (B) peripheral high dose, (C) central low dose, (D) central peripheral dose, (E) extraneous.

Results: The median follow-up was 36 months. Forty-three per cent and 53% of patients received radiotherapy to the ipsilateral neck only and bilateral neck, respectively. Three-year overall survival, disease-free survival, local control, regional control and distant metastases-free survival were 63.0, 65.6, 88.0, 85.1 and 85.3%, respectively. Of 10 episodes of primary site recurrences, five were type A, four type B and one was type E. Of 14 episodes of regional recurrence, five were type A, two type C, two type D and five type E. Five of 21 (24%) patients with oral tongue carcinoma with an undissected/unirradiated contralateral neck had a type E contralateral neck recurrence, including 2/11 with pN0, 1/4 with pN1 and 2/6 with pN2 disease.

Conclusions: Marginal and out-of-field recurrences remain a significant pattern of failure. We advocate generous target delineation postoperatively and, for oral tongue carcinomas, a comprehensive approach with bilateral neck irradiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2019.10.002DOI Listing
April 2020

Second-look PET-CT following an initial incomplete PET-CT response to (chemo)radiotherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Eur Radiol 2020 Feb 29;30(2):1212-1220. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Department of Nuclear Medicine and Radiology, Leeds Cancer Centre, Leeds, UK.

Objectives: The limited positive predictive value of an incomplete response on PET-CT following (chemo)radiotherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) means that the optimal management strategy remains uncertain. The aim of the study is to assess the utility of a 'second-look' interval PET-CT.

Methods: Patients with HNSCC who were treated with (chemo)radiotherapy between 2008 and 2017 and underwent (i) baseline and (ii) response assessment PET-CT and (iii) second-look PET-CT following incomplete (positive or equivocal scan) response were included. Endpoints were conversion rate to complete response (CR) and test characteristics of the second-look PET-CT.

Results: Five hundred sixty-two patients with HNSCC underwent response assessment PET-CT at a median of 17 weeks post-radiotherapy. Following an incomplete response on PET-CT, 40 patients underwent a second-look PET-CT at a median of 13 weeks (range 6-25) from the first response PET-CT. Thirty-four out of 40 (85%) patients had oropharyngeal carcinoma. Twenty-four out of 40 (60%) second-look PET-CT scans converted to a complete locoregional response. The primary tumour conversion rate was 15/27 (56%) and the lymph node conversion rate was 14/19 (74%). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value (NPV) of the second-look PET-CT were 75%, 75%, 25% and 96% for the primary tumour and 100%, 92%, 40% and 100% for lymph nodes. There were no cases of progression following conversion to CR in the primary site or lymph nodes.

Conclusions: The majority of patients who undergo a second-look PET-CT convert to a CR. The NPV of a second-look PET-CT is high, suggesting the potential to avoid surgical intervention.

Key Points: • PET-CT is a useful tool for response assessment following (chemo)radiotherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. • An incomplete response on PET-CT has a limited positive predictive value and optimal management is uncertain. • These data show that with a 'second-look' interval PET-CT, the majority of patients convert to a complete metabolic response. When there is doubt about clinical and radiological response, a 'second-look' PET-CT can be used to spare patients unnecessary surgical intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00330-019-06401-7DOI Listing
February 2020

Research priorities for young people with cancer: a UK priority setting partnership with the James Lind Alliance.

BMJ Open 2019 08 5;9(8):e028119. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

School of Health Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.

Objectives: To conduct a UK-wide survey of young people who have experienced cancer, carers and professionals, to identify and prioritise research questions to inform decisions of research funders and support the case for research with this unique cancer population.

Design: James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership.

Setting: UK health service and community.

Methods: A steering group oversaw the initiative and partner organisations were recruited. Unanswered questions were collected in an online survey. Evidence searching verified uncertainties. An interim survey was used to rank questions prior to a final prioritisation workshop.

Participants: Young people aged 13-24 years with a current or previous cancer diagnosis, their families, friends, partners and professionals who work with this population.

Results: Two hundred and ninety-two respondents submitted 855 potential questions. Following a refining process and removal of 'out of scope' questions, 208 unique questions remained. Systematic evidence checking identified seven answered questions and 16 were the subject of ongoing studies. The interim survey was completed by 174 participants. The top 30 questions were prioritised at a workshop attended by 25 young people, parents and multidisciplinary professionals. The top three priorities are: (1) What psychological support package improves psychological well-being, social functioning and mental health during and after treatment? (2) What interventions, including self-care, can reduce or reverse adverse short-term and long-term effects of cancer treatment? (3) What are the best strategies to improve access to clinical trials? The remaining questions reflect the complete cancer pathway: new therapies, life after cancer, support, education/employment, relapse and end-of-life care.

Conclusions: We have identified shared research priorities for young people with cancer using a rigorous, person-centred approach involving stakeholders typically not involved in setting the research agenda. The breadth of priorities suggest future research should focus on holistic and psychosocial care delivery as well as traditional drug/biology research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2018-028119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6688702PMC
August 2019

Impact of choice of feeding tubes on long-term swallow function following chemoradiotherapy for oropharyngeal carcinoma.

Acta Oncol 2019 Aug 29;58(8):1187-1196. Epub 2019 Apr 29.

a Department of Clinical Oncology , Leeds Cancer Centre , Leeds , UK.

Prior reports have raised concerns that a prophylactic gastrostomy may be detrimental to long-term swallow function. This study evaluates patient-reported swallow function following chemoradiotherapy for oropharyngeal carcinoma in relation to the use of a prophylactic gastrostomy or nasogastric (NG) tube as required. The MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI) was posted to 204 disease-free patients at least 2 years following chemoradiotherapy for oropharyngeal carcinoma between 2010 and 2014. Overall, 181/204 (89%) patients returned questionnaire at a median of 34 months post-treatment. 97/181 (54%) and 84/181 (46%) were managed with an approach of a prophylactic gastrostomy or NG tube as required, respectively. A prophylactic gastrostomy was associated with higher rates of enteral feeding (92% vs. 58%,  < .001), lower median percentage weight loss (7.0% vs. 9.4%,  < .001), increased duration of enteral feed (median 3.3 vs. 1.1 months,  < .001). There was no significant difference in patient-reported swallow function measured by MDADI summary scores and subscales for patients managed with an approach of prophylactic gastrostomy or NG as required. Duration of enteral feed correlated negatively with composite MDADI scores. A subgroup of 116/181 (64%) patients were documented as having been offered a choice of enteral feeding approach and therefore can be considered to represent clinical equipoise; there were no significant differences in MDADI scores according to route. Despite concern regarding the use of a prophylactic gastrostomy in prior studies, the approaches of using a prophylactic gastrostomy or an NG tube as required to support patients during/after chemoradiotherapy for oropharyngeal carcinoma were associated with similar long-term swallow outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0284186X.2019.1609698DOI Listing
August 2019

Quality Assurance Peer Review of Head and Neck Contours in a Large Cancer Centre via a Weekly Meeting Approach.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2019 06 16;31(6):344-351. Epub 2019 Mar 16.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Leeds Cancer Centre, Leeds, UK. Electronic address:

Aims: To assess the impact of weekly scheduled peer review of head and neck contours for definitive and adjuvant radiotherapy cases based on rates of recommended changes.

Materials And Methods: Retrospective analysis of a prospective database. Recommended changes were prospectively classified as 'major' (change in gross tumour volume and/or high-dose clinical target volume, dose/fractionation) or 'minor' (change in intermediate or elective dose clinical target volumes or organs at risk). Univariate analysis to explore associations between recommended changes and tumour site/stage and radical/adjuvant indication.

Results: In total, 307/375 (82%) head and neck cases treated with volumetric-modulated arc therapy were prospectively peer reviewed over a 12-month period; 195 (64%) cases received definitive and 112 (36%) received adjuvant radiotherapy. Overall, 43/307 (14.0%) changes were recommended within the peer review meetings. This comprised 27/307 (8.8%) major changes and 16/307 (5.2%) minor changes; 33/43 (77%) changes were in the clinical target volume. Rates of recommended changes were significantly higher for adjuvant versus definitive radiotherapy (odds ratio 2.26, P = 0.014) and for larynx compared with oropharynx (odds ratio 3.02, P = 0.02). There was no overall correlation between clinician experience and rates of change (P = 0.62).

Conclusion: Routine weekly meeting contour-based peer review resulted in a number of major and minor changes to treatment. Compliance was high. Peer review was potentially beneficial for all tumour sites/stages/indications and any degree of clinician experience.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2019.03.001DOI Listing
June 2019

Accuracy of Response Assessment Positron Emission Tomography-Computed Tomography Following Definitive Radiotherapy Without Chemotherapy for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2019 04 13;31(4):212-218. Epub 2018 Dec 13.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Leeds Cancer Centre, Leeds, UK. Electronic address:

Aim: There are few data to inform on the use of response assessment 2-[fluorine-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) following radical radiotherapy without chemotherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). This retrospective study evaluated the accuracy of PET-CT in HNSCC following radical radiotherapy.

Materials And Methods: In total, 138 patients with HNSCC treated with radical radiotherapy without chemotherapy who underwent a baseline and response assessment FDG PET-CT were identified. FDG PET-CT outcomes were analysed with reference to clinicopathological outcomes.

Results: The median follow-up was 26 months. FDG-avid disease at baseline was present for the primary site and lymph nodes in 118 and 86 patients, respectively. With regard to the primary tumour, the negative predictive value (NPV) of a complete metabolic response (CMR) was 95%; the positive predictive value (PPV) of equivocal uptake and a positive scan were 6% and 82%, respectively. The likelihood ratios for a CMR, equivocal and positive scans of the primary site were 0.19, 0.22, 14.8, respectively. With regard to lymph node disease, the NPV of a CMR was 91%, the PPV of equivocal uptake and a positive scan were 33% and 88%, respectively. Likelihood ratios for lymph node disease for CMR, equivocal and positive scans were 0.19, 0.97 and 15.1, respectively.

Conclusion: Compared with the accuracy reported in the literature following chemoradiotherapy, response assessment FDG PET-CT following radical radiotherapy without chemotherapy had a similarly high NPV, whereas the PPV following a positive scan was higher.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2018.11.036DOI Listing
April 2019

Radiotherapy plus cisplatin or cetuximab in low-risk human papillomavirus-positive oropharyngeal cancer (De-ESCALaTE HPV): an open-label randomised controlled phase 3 trial.

Lancet 2019 01 15;393(10166):51-60. Epub 2018 Nov 15.

University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.

Background: The incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer, a disease affecting younger patients, is rapidly increasing. Cetuximab, an epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor, has been proposed for treatment de-escalation in this setting to reduce the toxicity of standard cisplatin treatment, but no randomised evidence exists for the efficacy of this strategy.

Methods: We did an open-label randomised controlled phase 3 trial at 32 head and neck treatment centres in Ireland, the Netherlands, and the UK, in patients aged 18 years or older with HPV-positive low-risk oropharyngeal cancer (non-smokers or lifetime smokers with a smoking history of <10 pack-years). Eligible patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive, in addition to radiotherapy (70 Gy in 35 fractions), either intravenous cisplatin (100 mg/m on days 1, 22, and 43 of radiotherapy) or intravenous cetuximab (400 mg/m loading dose followed by seven weekly infusions of 250 mg/m). The primary outcome was overall severe (grade 3-5) toxicity events at 24 months from the end of treatment. The primary outcome was assessed by intention-to-treat and per-protocol analyses. This trial is registered with the ISRCTN registry, number ISRCTN33522080.

Findings: Between Nov 12, 2012, and Oct 1, 2016, 334 patients were recruited (166 in the cisplatin group and 168 in the cetuximab group). Overall (acute and late) severe (grade 3-5) toxicity did not differ significantly between treatment groups at 24 months (mean number of events per patient 4·8 [95% CI 4·2-5·4] with cisplatin vs 4·8 [4·2-5·4] with cetuximab; p=0·98). At 24 months, overall all-grade toxicity did not differ significantly either (mean number of events per patient 29·2 [95% CI 27·3-31·0] with cisplatin vs 30·1 [28·3-31·9] with cetuximab; p=0·49). However, there was a significant difference between cisplatin and cetuximab in 2-year overall survival (97·5% vs 89·4%, hazard ratio 5·0 [95% CI 1·7-14·7]; p=0·001) and 2-year recurrence (6·0% vs 16·1%, 3·4 [1·6-7·2]; p=0·0007).

Interpretation: Compared with the standard cisplatin regimen, cetuximab showed no benefit in terms of reduced toxicity, but instead showed significant detriment in terms of tumour control. Cisplatin and radiotherapy should be used as the standard of care for HPV-positive low-risk patients who are able to tolerate cisplatin.

Funding: Cancer Research UK.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(18)32752-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319250PMC
January 2019

Long term patient reported swallowing function following chemoradiotherapy for oropharyngeal carcinoma.

Radiother Oncol 2018 09 21;128(3):452-458. Epub 2018 Jun 21.

Department of Clinical Oncology, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK; Division of Cancer Sciences, The University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre, Manchester, UK. Electronic address:

Background And Purpose: Limited data are available to inform on long term swallowing outcomes following concurrent chemoradiotherapy for oropharyngeal carcinoma. The aims of this study are to determine long term patient-reported swallowing outcomes across two large UK centres in routine clinical practice and identify associated factors.

Material And Methods: All patients treated for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma with concurrent chemoradiotherapy, and irradiation of the bilateral neck, between 2011 and 2013 were identified. Those requiring therapeutic enteral feeding prior to treatment, or having subsequent disease relapse, were excluded from the study. Patients were sent postal invitations to complete the MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI), at least two years following completion of treatment.

Results: Completed MDADI were received from 201/242 eligible patients (83%) at a median of 3.4 years (range 2-5) post treatment. Median composite MDADI score was 68.4. 64 (32%) had composite MDADI <60 classed as 'poor' function, 76 (38%) scores ≥60-<80 classed as adequate function, and 61 (31%) had scores ≥80 classed as optimal function. Patients with normal and abnormal pre-treatment diet had median composite MDADI scores of 70.5 versus 47.4 respectively. Patients who did not require enteral feeding during treatment and those who did had median composite MDADI scores of 76.3 versus 65.3 respectively. On multivariate analysis poorer performance status, abnormal pre-treatment diet, and use of enteral feeding during radiotherapy were all significantly associated with lower composite, global and subscale MDADI scores.

Conclusions: Patient reported swallowing dysfunction remains common in the long term post-chemoradiotherapy. Impaired pre-treatment diet and use of enteral feeding during treatment are key factors associated with poorer swallowing outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2018.06.014DOI Listing
September 2018

Recruitment of patients into head and neck clinical trials: acceptability of studies to patients from perspective of the research team.

Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2018 05 6;56(4):278-282. Epub 2018 Mar 6.

Clinical Trials, Northwick Park Hospital, North-West London, UK; Oral and Maxillofacial/Head and Neck Surgery, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Scotland.

We reviewed longitudinal recruitment data to assess recruitment into head and neck cancer trials, and to identify factors that could influence this and affect their acceptability to patients. We retrieved data from the prospective computerised database (2009-2016) to measure acceptability to patients using the recruitment:screening ratio, and compared observational with interventional studies, single specialty (or site) with multispecialty (or site) studies, and "step-up" randomisation with "non-inferiority" randomisation designs. A total of 1283 patients were screened and 583 recruited. The recruitment:screening ratio for all National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) portfolio studies combined was 0.47 (486/1133). Studies that involved treatment by several specialties or at several sites had a significantly adverse impact on acceptability (p=0.01). Recruitment into non-inferiority randomised controlled studies was lower than that into step-up randomised studies (p=0.06). The complexity of a study's design did not compromise recruitment. Treatment across several specialties or several sites and perceived non-inferiority designs, reduced the acceptability of some trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bjoms.2018.02.005DOI Listing
May 2018

Postoperative (Chemo)Radiotherapy for Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinomas: Outcomes and Patterns of Failure.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2017 01 3;29(1):51-59. Epub 2016 Oct 3.

Department of Clinical Oncology, Leeds Cancer Centre, Leeds, UK. Electronic address:

Aims: To determine outcomes after adjuvant radiotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and to correlate locoregional recurrence patterns with radiotherapy target volumes.

Materials And Methods: All patients receiving adjuvant radiotherapy±chemotherapy after surgery with curative intent for oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma between 2007 and 2012 were retrospectively analysed. Locoregional recurrences were reconstructed on the planning computed tomography scan by both deformable image co-registration and by visual assessment. Recurrences were categorised as in-field, marginal or out-of-field if >95%, 20-95%, and <20% of the recurrence volume was encompassed by 95% of the prescription isodose, respectively.

Results: In total, 106 patients with a median follow-up of 42 months were included. Oral cavity subsites included oral tongue (54%) and floor of mouth (32%). Thirty (28%) patients received concurrent chemotherapy. Fifty-five (52%) patients received bilateral neck radiotherapy. Two year overall, disease-free, local disease-free, regional disease-free and distant metastases-free survival were 72, 83, 92, 89, 94%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, extracapsular nodal spread was the only factor significantly associated with inferior overall survival. Fourteen (13%) patients have experienced locoregional failure. Of the eight local recurrences at the primary tumour site, four, three and one were classified as in-field, marginal and out-of-field, respectively. Of 10 regional recurrences, one, one and eight were in-field, marginal and out-of-field. There were 7/21 (33%) contralateral regional recurrences in patients with pN2a/b disease who did not receive contralateral neck irradiation; there were 0/21 (0%) and 0/9 (0%) contralateral regional recurrences in patients with pN0 or pN1 disease, respectively, who did not receive contralateral neck irradiation.

Conclusion: Marginal recurrences highlight the need for generous target volume delineation. Based upon rates of contralateral regional recurrences, a comprehensive approach to target volume selection should be advised for tumour subsites with bilateral lymphatic drainage in the presence of pN2a/b disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2016.09.008DOI Listing
January 2017

Definitive hypofractionated radiotherapy for early glottic carcinoma: experience of 55Gy in 20 fractions.

Radiat Oncol 2015 Sep 23;10:203. Epub 2015 Sep 23.

Department Of Clinical Oncology, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Level 4, Bexley Wing, Beckett Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7TF, UK.

Introduction: A wide variety of fractionation schedules have been employed for the treatment of early glottic cancer. The aim is to report our 10-year experience of using hypofractionated radiotherapy with 55Gy in 20 fractions at 2.75Gy per fraction.

Methods: Patients treated between 2004 and 2013 with definitive radiotherapy to a dose of 55Gy in 20 fractions over 4 weeks for T1/2 N0 squamous cell carcinoma of the glottis were retrospectively identified. Patients with prior therapeutic minor surgery (eg. laser stripping, cordotomy) were included. The probabilities of local control, ultimate local control (including salvage surgery), regional control, cause specific survival (CSS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated.

Results: One hundred thirty-two patients were identified. Median age was 65 years (range 33-89). Median follow up was 72 months (range 7-124). 50 (38 %), 18 (14 %) and 64 (48 %) of patients had T1a, T1b and T2 disease respectively. Five year local control and ultimate local control rates were: overall - 85.6 % and 97.3 % respectively, T1a - 91.8 % and 100 %, T1b - 81.6 and 93.8 %, and T2 - 80.9 % and 95.8 %. Five year regional control, CSS and OS rates were 95.4 %, 95.7 % and 78.8 % respectively. There were no significant associations of covariates (e.g. T-stage, extent of laryngeal extension, histological grade) with local control on univariate analysis. Only increasing age and transglottic extension in T2 disease were significantly associated with overall survival (both p <0.01). Second primary cancers developed in 17 % of patients. 13 (9.8 %) of patients required enteral tube feeding support during radiotherapy; no patients required long term enteral nutrition. One patient required a tracheostomy due to a non-functioning larynx on long term follow up.

Conclusions: Hypofractionated radiation therapy with a dose of 55Gy in 20 fractions for early stage glottic cancer provides high rates of local control with acceptable toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13014-015-0505-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4580345PMC
September 2015

Definitive and adjuvant radiotherapy for sinonasal squamous cell carcinomas: a single institutional experience.

Radiat Oncol 2015 Sep 17;10:190. Epub 2015 Sep 17.

Department Of Clinical Oncology, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Level 4, Bexley Wing, Beckett Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS9 7TF, UK.

Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the disease outcomes of patients treated with definitive and adjuvant radiotherapy for squamous cell carcinomas of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses in a single institution.

Methods: Between 2007-2012 patients were retrospectively identified from electronic databases who had undergone surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy or definitive radiotherapy for sinonasal squamous cell carcinomas with curative intent.

Results: Fourty three patients with sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma were identified (22 nasal cavity, 21 paranasal sinuses). 31/43 (72%) had T3 or T4 disease; nodal stage was N0 in 38, N1 in 4, Na/b in 0 and N2c in 1 patient. Median age was 67 years (range 41-86). 18 (42%) received definitive and 25 (58%) adjuvant radiotherapy. Radiotherapy was delivered using either conventional radiotherapy (n = 39) or intensity modulated radiotherapy (n = 4). Elective neck radiotherapy was delivered to two patients. Chemotherapy was delivered to 6/43 (14%) of patients. Two-year local control, regional control, distant metastases free survival, progression free survival, cause specific survival and overall survival were 81%, 90%, 95%, 71%, 84% and 80% respectively. There was no significant difference in outcome comparing patients who underwent surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy with patients receiving definitive radiotherapy (2 year locoregional disease free survival 75% and 70% respectively, p = 0.98). Pooly differentiated tumours were significantly associated with inferior disease outcomes. Local, regional, combined local and regional, and distant failure occurred in 7 (16%), 3 (7%), 1 (2%) and 2 (5%) of patients; all 3 regional recurrences were in patients with nasal cavity squamous cell carcinomas who had not undergone elective neck treatment.

Conclusions: Definitive or adjuvant radiotherapy provides an effective treatment for sinonasal malignancies. The main pattern of failure remains local, suggesting the need for investigation of intensified local therapy. Whilst remaining uncommon, the cases of regional failure mean that the merits of elective lymph node treatment should be considered on an individual basis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13014-015-0496-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4574072PMC
September 2015

Patterns of failure after intensity-modulated radiotherapy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma using compartmental clinical target volume delineation.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2014 Oct 11;26(10):636-42. Epub 2014 Jun 11.

Department of Clinical Oncology, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK.

Aims: To determine the pattern of disease recurrence in non-nasopharyngeal head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients treated with radical intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) with or without chemotherapy, and to correlate the sites of locoregional recurrence with radiotherapy target volumes.

Materials And Methods: In total, 136 patients treated with radical IMRT with or without chemotherapy between 2008 and 2011 for non-nasopharyngeal HNSCC were retrospectively identified. A compartmental approach to clinical target volume (CTV) delineation was routinely utilised during this period and IMRT was delivered using a 5-7 angle step and shoot technique. Locoregional recurrences were reconstructed on the planning computed tomography scan by both deformable image coregistration and by visual assessment, and were analysed in relation to target volumes and dosimetry.

Results: The median follow-up was 31 (range 3-53) months. Two year local control, regional control, disease-free survival, distant metastasis-free survival and overall survival were 86, 93, 78, 89 and 79%, respectively. One hundred and twenty of 136 (88%) patients achieved a complete response to treatment and 7/120 (6%) have subsequently had a locoregional recurrence. Analysis of these recurrences revealed five to be infield; one to be marginal to the high-dose CTV; one to be out-of-field. Overall the marginal/out-of-field recurrence rate was 2/136 (1.5%).

Conclusions: IMRT utilising a compartmental approach to CTV delineation was associated with a low rate of marginal/out-of-field recurrence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2014.05.001DOI Listing
October 2014

Long-term swallow function after chemoradiotherapy for oropharyngeal cancer: the influence of a prophylactic gastrostomy or reactive nasogastric tube.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2014 Feb 15;26(2):103-9. Epub 2013 Nov 15.

Department of Clinical Oncology, St James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK.

Aims: Two contrasting approaches of a prophylactic gastrostomy or a nasogastric tube as needed are widely used to support patients receiving chemoradiotherapy for head and neck cancer. The influence of the type and timing of enteral feeding tube support upon long-term swallowing is uncertain. This study analysed the patients' perspective on long-term swallowing, comparing two groups of patients who received chemoradiotherapy for oropharyngeal cancer managed with the two approaches.

Materials And Methods: The MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI) was posted to 63 consecutive patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer treated with concurrent chemoradiotherapy between January 2007 and June 2009, who had not required therapeutic enteral feeding before treatment and who were disease free on follow-up at least 2 years after treatment.

Results: In total, 56/63 patients completed questionnaires; 43 had been managed with a prophylactic gastrostomy and 13 with a policy of nasogastric tube as needed. There were no significant differences in all global, emotional, physical or functional domains of the MDADI according to enteral feeding strategy. Diet at 6 months after treatment was significantly correlated with better MDADI scores.

Conclusions: In this study, the choice of a prophylactic gastrostomy or nasogastric tube as needed did not seem to influence long-term swallowing function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2013.10.005DOI Listing
February 2014

The efficacy of induction chemotherapy with docetaxel, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil combined with cisplatin concurrent chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: a matched pair analysis.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2013 Nov 13;25(11):647-53. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

Department of Clinical Oncology, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK.

Aims: The role of induction chemotherapy (ICT) for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is controversial. The aim of the study was to assess the benefit of ICT with docetaxel, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) (TPF) when combined with concurrent cisplatin chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for HNSCC.

Materials And Methods: Patients with HNSCC treated between January 2005 and December 2010 with radical intent with either TPF or cisplatin and 5-FU (PF) ICT and documented intention to proceed with concurrent cisplatin CRT were identified retrospectively. The use and choice of ICT regimen was at the clinician's discretion. In total, 68 patients treated with TPF were identified and were matched for T and N stage and tumour site to 68 patients treated with PF. A survival analysis was carried out using Kaplan-Meier and the Cox proportional hazards model.

Results: The median follow-up was 29.9 versus 36.3 months for the TPF and PF groups, respectively. Three year locoregional relapse-free survival (RFS), distant RFS, RFS, cancer-specific survival and overall survival rates for the TPF and PF groups were 84.2, 91.6, 82.6, 81.3 and 74.9% versus 73.7, 84.9, 71.9, 72.1 and 62.9%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, treatment with TPF predicted for improved locoregional RFS (P = 0.03) and overall survival (P = 0.05).

Conclusion: The addition of docetaxel to a cisplatin doublet ICT regimen before concurrent CRT may improve disease control for locally advanced HNSCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2013.07.007DOI Listing
November 2013

Outcomes following chemoradiotherapy for N3 head and neck squamous cell carcinoma without a planned neck dissection.

Oral Oncol 2013 Jan 1;49(1):55-9. Epub 2012 Aug 1.

Department of Clinical Oncology, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Beckett Street, Leeds LS9 7TF, United Kingdom.

Objectives: The optimal management of the N3 neck in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) remains controversial. We report the outcomes of patients with N3 disease treated with a strategy of concurrent chemo-radiotherapy (CRT)±induction chemotherapy (ICT) without a planned neck dissection.

Materials And Methods: Forty patients with HNSCC N3 disease treated between January 2004 and December 2010 were retrospectively identified. Inclusion criteria for the study were: non-nasopharyngeal HNSCC, N3 nodal disease, intention to treat with CRT±ICT.

Results: Median age was 60 (range 39-74). Median follow up was 32 months (range 8-88). 34 (85%) of patients received ICT. 35 patients received cisplatin-CRT, 4 carboplatin-CRT and 1 patient was treated with radiotherapy alone due to ICT toxicity. 27 (67.5%) patients had a complete response (CR) to CRT. 5 (12.5%) patients had an incomplete response in both the primary and nodal sites. 8 (20%) patients had a CR in the primary site but incomplete in the nodal regions. The crude rate of regional failure following a CR was 3/27 (11.2%). Isolated regional failure occurred in 1/27 (3.7%) patients who had achieved a CR post-CRT. 3 year overall survival, disease free survival, locoregional control, local control and regional control in the whole cohort were 51.4%, 49.6%, 65.7%, 77.3%, 69.3%, and in patients with a CR were 73.3%, 70.0%, 86.6%, 90.5% and 91.7% respectively.

Conclusion: Isolated regional nodal failure is rare following a complete response to CRT for N3 HNSCC managed without a planned neck dissection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2012.07.010DOI Listing
January 2013

Improving target definition for head and neck radiotherapy: a place for magnetic resonance imaging and 18-fluoride fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography?

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2012 Oct 15;24(8):577-89. Epub 2012 May 15.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK.

Defining the target for head and neck radiotherapy is a critical issue with the introduction of steep dose gradients associated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy. Tumour delineation inaccuracies are a major source of error in radiotherapy planning. The integration of 18-fluoride fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography ((18)FDG-PET) and magnetic resonance imaging directly into the radiotherapy planning process has the potential to greatly improve target identification/selection and delineation. This raises a range of new issues surrounding image co-registration, delineation methodology and the use of functional data and treatment adaptation. This overview will discuss the practical aspects of integrating (18)FDG-PET and magnetic resonance imaging into head and neck radiotherapy planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2012.04.002DOI Listing
October 2012

The Impact of (18)F-FDG PET CT Prior to Chemoradiotherapy for Stage III/IV Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.

ISRN Oncol 2012 24;2012:636379. Epub 2012 Mar 24.

Departments of Nuclear Medicine, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds LS9 7TF, UK.

Introduction. To determine the value of a FDG-PET-CT scan in patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) prior to chemoradiotherapy. Materials and Methods. Consecutive patients with stage III or IV HNSCC who had undergone a staging FDG-PET-CT scan prior to chemoradiotherapy between August 2008 and April 2011 were included. Clinical details and conventional imaging (CT and/or MRI) were, retrospectively, reviewed, a TNM stage was assigned, and levels of cervical lymph node involvement were documented. This process was repeated with the addition of FDG-PET-CT. Radiotherapy plans were reviewed for patients with an alteration identified on TNM staging and/or nodal level identification with FDG-PET-CT and potential alterations in radiotherapy planning were documented. Results. 55 patients were included in the analysis. FDG-PET-CT altered the TNM stage in 17/55 (31%) of patients, upstaging disease in 11 (20%) and downstaging in 6 (11%); distant metastases were identified by FDG-PET-CT in 1 (2%) patient. FDG-PET-CT altered the lymph node levels identified in 22 patients (40%), upclassifying disease in 16 (29%) and downclassifying in 6 (11%). Radiotherapy plans were judged retrospectively to have been altered by FDG-PET-CT in 10 patients (18%). Conclusions. The use of FDG-PET-CT potentially impacts upon both treatment decisions and radiotherapy planning.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/636379DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3324911PMC
August 2012

Enteral feeding outcomes after chemoradiotherapy for oropharynx cancer: a role for a prophylactic gastrostomy?

Oral Oncol 2012 May 29;48(5):434-40. Epub 2011 Dec 29.

Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK.

To determine the outcomes of patients managed with different routes of enteral feeding during chemoradiotherapy for oropharynx cancer. The hospital and dietetic records of consecutive patients with oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma treated between January 2007 and June 2009 with concurrent chemoradiotherapy were reviewed retrospectively. One hundred and four patients were analysed. Seventy-one received a prophylactic gastrostomy, 21 were managed with a strategy of NG tube as required and 12 received a therapeutic gastrostomy. Patients with a prophylactic gastrostomy commenced enteral feeding a median of 24 days after commencing radiotherapy, compared with a median of 41 days (p<0.001) for the NG as required group. Comparing prophylactic gastrostomy, NG as required and therapeutic gastrostomy, median number of unplanned inpatient days were 6, 14 and 7, respectively (p<0.01 for prophylactic gastrostomy vs. NG as required). Mean percentage weight loss at the end of treatment (6.1% vs. 7.1% vs. 5.2%, respectively) and at 6 months post-radiotherapy (11.7%, 14.3% and 8.9%) were similar in all groups (p=0.23). There was no significant difference in type of diet post-radiotherapy between prophylactic gastrostomy and NG as required groups (p=0.22). Median duration of enteral feeding was 181, 64 and 644 days, respectively (p<0.01 for prophylactic gastrostomy vs. NG as required). Use of a prophylactic gastrostomy (p<0.01) and higher T stage (p<0.01) were associated with increased duration of enteral feeding on a multivariate analysis. These data reinforce concerns regarding the detrimental impact of prophylactic gastrostomy placement upon long-term enteral feed dependence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2011.11.022DOI Listing
May 2012

Feasibility and efficacy of induction docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy combined with cisplatin concurrent chemoradiotherapy for nonmetastatic Stage IV head-and-neck squamous cell carcinomas.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2011 Nov 27;81(4):e237-43. Epub 2011 May 27.

Department of Clinical Oncology, St. James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, United Kingdom.

Purpose: To report the experience of treating selected fit patients with locally advanced head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma with three cycles of induction TPF (docetaxel 75 mg/m(2), cisplatin 75 mg/m(2), 5-fluorouracil 750 mg/m(2), Days 2-5) followed by concurrent three-weekly bolus cisplatin 100 mg/m(2) chemoradiotherapy.

Methods And Materials: Between March 2006 and February 2010, 66 patients with nonmetastatic Stage IV head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma were treated in a single institution with three cycles of induction TPF, followed by radical radiotherapy with concurrent cisplatin 100 mg/m(2).

Results: Median age was 54 years (range, 33-69 years). Median follow-up was 21 months (range, 4-55 months). During TPF, Grade 3 toxicity occurred in 18 patients (27%), dose modifications in 10 (15%), delays in 3 (5%), and unplanned admissions in 6 (9%); a clinical tumor response was documented in 60 patients (91%). Median time from the final cycle of TPF to commencing radiotherapy was 22 days. Sixty-two patients (94%) received radical radiotherapy, and all completed treatment with no delays ≥3 days. One, two, and three cycles of concurrent cisplatin were delivered to 18 patients (29%), 38 patients (61%), and 3 patients (5%), respectively. Ninety-two percent of patients received enteral feeding; median weight loss during treatment was 7%. Forty-two patients (68%) had unplanned admissions with no on-treatment deaths. Three unrelated deaths occurred after treatment. At 1 year after treatment, 21% of patients without disease progression remained gastrostomy dependent. Of 58 assessable patients, 50 (86%) achieved a complete response after treatment. One- and 2-year progression-free survival, cause-specific survival, and overall survival were 88%, 92%, and 86% and 80%, 85%, and 80%, respectively.

Conclusion: The combination of induction TPF with concurrent cisplatin chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is tolerable, with encouraging efficacy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.03.043DOI Listing
November 2011

Recurrence patterns of locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma after 3D conformal (chemo)-radiotherapy.

Radiat Oncol 2011 May 24;6:54. Epub 2011 May 24.

St James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, UK.

Background: To establish recurrence patterns among locally advanced head and neck non-nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients treated with radical (chemo-) radiotherapy and to correlate the sites of loco-regional recurrence with radiotherapy doses and target volumes

Method: 151 locally advanced HNSCC patients were treated between 2004-2005 using radical three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy. Patients with prior surgery to the primary tumour site were excluded. The sites of locoregional relapses were correlated with radiotherapy plans by the radiologist and a planning dosimetrist.

Results: Median age was 59 years (range:34-89). 35 patients had stage III disease, 116 patients had stage IV A/B. 36 patients were treated with radiotherapy alone, 42 with induction chemotherapy, 63 with induction and concomitant chemoradiotherapy and 10 concomitant chemoradiotherapy. Median follow-up was 38 months (range 3-62). 3-year cause specific survival was 66.8%. 125 of 151 (82.8%) achieved a complete response to treatment. Amongst these 125 there were 20 local-regional recurrence, comprising 8 local, 5 regional and 7 simultaneous local and regional; synchronous distant metastases occurred in 7 of the 20. 9 patients developed distant metastases in the absence of locoregional failure. For the 14 local recurrences with planning data available, 12 were in-field, 1 was marginal, and 1 was out-of-field. Of the 11 regional failures with planning data available, 7 were in-field, 1 was marginal and 3 were out-of-field recurrences.

Conclusion: The majority of failures following non-surgical treatment for locally advanced HNSCC were loco-regional, within the radiotherapy target volume. Improving locoregional control remains a high priority.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1748-717X-6-54DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3127781PMC
May 2011

A single centre experience with sequential and concomitant chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced stage IV tonsillar cancer.

Radiat Oncol 2010 Dec 21;5:121. Epub 2010 Dec 21.

St. James's Institute of Oncology, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK.

Background: Chemo-radiotherapy offers an alternative to primary surgery and adjuvant therapy for the management of locally advanced stage IV squamous cell carcinomas of the tonsil.

Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed of the outcomes of 41 patients with locoregionally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsil treated non-surgically at the Yorkshire Cancer Centre between January 2004 and December 2005. Due to long radiotherapy waiting times, patients received induction chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil followed by either cisplatin concurrent chemoradiotherapy or radiotherapy alone.

Results: Median age was 55 years (range 34-76 years) and 28 (68%) patients were male. 35/41 patients (85%) received 2 or more cycles of induction chemotherapy. Following induction chemotherapy, 32/41 patients (78%) had a clinical response. Concomitant chemotherapy was given to 30/41 (73%). All patients received the planned radiotherapy dose with no delays. There were no treatment related deaths. Six (15%) patients had gastrostomy tubes placed before treatment, and 22 (54%) required nasogastric tube placement during or after treatment for nutritional support. 17 patients required unplanned admissions during treatment for supportive care. At 4 months post treatment assessment 35 out of 41 (85%) patients achieved complete clinical and radiographic response. Median follow-up is 38 months (8-61 months). Local and regional control rate in complete responders at 3 years was 91%. Distant metastases have been found in 4 (9.8%) patients. Three year progression-free survival rate in all patients is 75%. The 3-year cause specific survival and overall survival are 75% and 66% respectively.

Conclusion: Cisplatin-based induction and concurrent chemoradiotherapy provides excellent tumour control with acceptable toxicity for patients with locally advanced tonsillar cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1748-717X-5-121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3022575PMC
December 2010

The role of split-course hypofractionated palliative radiotherapy in head and neck cancer.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2011 Mar 8;23(2):141-8. Epub 2010 Oct 8.

St. James's Institute of Oncology, St. James's University Hospital, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Leeds, UK.

Aims: A significant proportion of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma are unsuitable for radical treatment due to factors including tumour stage, performance status and co-morbidity. Palliative radiotherapy has a useful role in the control of local symptoms. This study documented the outcome with split-course hypofractionated radiotherapy.

Materials And Methods: Thirty-three previously untreated patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma were treated with palliative intent with split-course radiotherapy, with an initial 20 Gy in five fractions over 1 week, a 2 week gap, and then a further 20 Gy in five fractions over 1 week at the Yorkshire Cancer Centre between January 2004 and December 2007. Data were collected retrospectively from case notes and radiotherapy records.

Results: Thirty (91%) patients had stage IV A-B disease. World Health Organization performance status was 2 or 3 in 19 (58%) patients. The median age was 76 years (range 48-91 years). Twenty-five (76%) patients were men. Symptomatic improvement was reported in 26 (79%) patients at 4-6 weeks of follow-up. Thirteen (39%) patients had a complete tumour response and 11 (33%) patients had a partial response as assessed clinically, and in some cases radiologically. The median overall survival was 9 months (range 3-43 months). Progression-free survival at 1 and 2 years was 35 and 25%, respectively. Overall survival at 1 and 2 years was 42 and 34%, respectively. Treatment was generally well tolerated; admission for nasogastric feeding and/or supportive care was required in only six patients. Radiation Therapy Oncology Group grade 3 toxicity was documented for skin in one patient, for mucosa in two patients and for oesophagitis in three patients.

Conclusion: Split-course hypofractionated radiotherapy is an effective palliative regimen with acceptable toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2010.09.006DOI Listing
March 2011

Altered fractionation in head and neck cancer.

Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 2008 Apr 15;20(3):267. Epub 2008 Jan 15.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clon.2007.12.009DOI Listing
April 2008