Quality of life and swallowing with standard chemoradiotherapy versus accelerated radiotherapy and panitumumab in locoregionally advanced carcinoma of the head and neck: A phase III randomised trial from the Canadian Cancer Trials Group (HN.6)
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AIM: To compare quality of life (QOL) between standard (SFX) chemoradiotherapy (arm A) and altered fractionation radiotherapy (AFX) with panitumumab (PMab; arm B). METHODS: Patients with T any N + M0 or T3-4N0M0 squamous cell head-neck carcinoma were randomised to SFX (70 Gy/35/7 wks) plus cisplatin (100 mg/m2 IV × 3) versus AFX (70 Gy/35/6 wks) plus PMab (9 mg/kg IV × 3). QOL was collected at baseline, end of radiation therapy (RT) and 2, 4, 6, 12, 24 and 36 months post-RT using the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Head and Neck (FACT-H&N), MD Anderson Dysphagia Index (MDADI) and SWAL-QOL. We hypothesised a 6-point more favourable change in FACT-H&N score from baseline to 1 year in arm B over arm A. RESULTS: Among 320 patients, median follow-up was 46 (range: 0.1-64.3) months, median age 56, 84% male, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group PS 0 (71%), 1 (29%). Primary site was oropharynx in 81% (p16+ 68%, p16- 16%, missing 16%). Baseline scores did not differ by arm (A/B): FACT-H&N 116.5/115, MDADI Global 83/77, SWAL-QOL General 67/68. At 1 year, no difference was seen between arms in FACT-H&N change from baseline: A -1.70, B -4.81, p = 0.194. Subscale change scores by arm were (A/B): last week RT, FACT-Physical (-11.6, -10, p = 0.049), MDADI Physical (-40.4, -33.9, p = 0.045), and SWAL-QOL Eating Duration (-61.2, -51.2, p = 0.02), Eating Desire (-53.3, -43.9, p = 0.031) and Mental Health (-42, -32.6, p = 0.009); 4 months, HN subscale (-7.7, -10, p = 0.014). No clinically important differences by arm were seen post-treatment. CONCLUSIONS: PMab with AFX did not durably improve QOL or swallowing as compared with SFX with cisplatin. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT00820248.
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