- Evaluation of long term (10-years+) dysphagia and trismus in patients treated with concurrent chemo-radiotherapy for advanced head and neck cancer
- Oral Oncology
- Volume | Issue number
- 51 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Dentistry (ACTA)
Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
- Amsterdam Center for Language and Communication (ACLC)
Assessment of long term (10-years+) swallowing function, mouth opening, and quality of life (QoL) in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients treated with chemo-radiotherapy (CRT) for advanced stage IV disease.
Materials and Methods
Twenty-two disease-free survivors, participating in a multicenter randomized clinical trial for inoperable HNC (1999-2004), were evaluated to assess long-term morbidity. The prospective assessment protocol consisted of videofluoroscopy (VFS) for obtaining Penetration Aspiration Scale (PAS) and presence of residue scores, Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS) scores, maximum mouth opening measurements, and (SWAL-QOL and study-specific) questionnaires.
At a median follow-up of 11-years, 22 patients were evaluable for analysis. Ten patients (46%) were able to consume a normal oral diet without restrictions (FOIS score 7), whereas 12 patients (54%) had moderate to serious swallowing issues, of whom 3 (14%) were feeding tube dependent. VFS evaluation showed 15/22 patients (68%) with penetration and/or aspiration (PAS ⩾ 3). Fifty-five percent of patients (12/22) had developed trismus (mouth opening ⩽ 35 mm), which was significantly associated with aspiration (p = .011). Subjective swallowing function (SWAL-QOL score) was impaired across almost all QoL domains in the majority of patients. Patients treated with IMRT showed significantly less aspiration (p = .011), less trismus (p = .035), and less subjective swallowing problems than those treated with conventional radiotherapy.
Functional swallowing and mouth opening problems are substantial in this patient cohort more than 10-years after organ-preservation CRT. Patients treated with IMRT had less impairment than those treated with conventional radiotherapy.
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