Chemoradiation Effects Can Be Toxic for Cancer Patients

-- A. Agrawal, PhD

Monday, December 28, 2009

MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with head and neck cancer who receive chemoradiation therapy have substantial treatment-related adverse effects, although a current protocol is associated with fewer toxicities, according to a study in the December issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery.

Daniel J. Givens and colleagues from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in Iowa City examined long-term outcomes in 104 patients with head and neck cancer (largely oropharyngeal or laryngeal tumors and advanced-stage disease) treated with chemoradiation therapy.

The researchers found that about half of patients had hematologic toxicities and toxicity-related treatment delays, and about a quarter had toxicities such as neurotoxicities and/or ototoxicities, moist desquamation, pneumonia, nausea and vomiting requiring hospitalization or intravenous fluids, dehydration or malnutrition requiring hospitalization, and mild or moderate fever. Although there were more toxicity-related treatment delays in patients receiving the current intensity-modulated radiation therapy protocol, these patients had fewer toxicities and better quality of life than patients receiving an older protocol or conventional lateral opposing-field radiation.

"Patients receiving chemoradiation therapy experience a substantial number of treatment-related adverse events, primarily affecting oropharyngeal and laryngeal function, with improvement noted for the current intensity-modulated radiation therapy protocol," Givens and colleagues conclude. "Improving dental prosthetic rehabilitation and including evaluations with speech and swallowing pathologists before and during treatment may enhance patient outcomes."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

Copyright © 2009 ScoutNews, LLC. All rights reserved.


OncoLink's Annual Insurance Education Session [Webinar]
by OncoLink Editorial Team
October 03, 2014

7 Tips for Giving Smart on #givingtuesday
by Christina Bach, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
November 25, 2015