Heather Jones, MD
University of Pennsylvania Cancer Center
Last Modified: November 7, 2001
Presenter: J. Fisher
Presenter's Affiliation: Bon Secours Cottage Health Services, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI
Type of Session: Scientific
The RTOG 90-03 was a four-arm trial that enrolled patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer. This study evaluated the factors that could potentially affect the QOL for patients randomized to standard fractionation radiotherapy (SFX), hyperfractionation (HFX), Accelerated Fractionation with Split (AFX-S) and Accelerated Fractionation with Concomitant Boost (AFX-C).
A pretreatment patient and tumor characteristic such as marital status, the need for oral supplements or feeding tube affects QOL before the initiation of therapy. Intensification of radiotherapy, marital status, tumor site, and nutritional support all effect QOL during the first year post therapy.
The concept of quality of life continues to create struggles for clinicians and researchers, in that it is difficult to acquire a consensus concerning its definition, as well as techniques with which to measure it. One major advantage to this RTOG analysis is the repeat measurements of quality of life over time. This enabled providers to examine this concept within a short-term timeframes. Consequently, recall biases are avoided and the effect of personality traits can be ascertained. These data suggest that interventions (such as before the start of therapy) may improve QOL in long-term survivors.
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