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J Korean Soc Ther Radiol > Volume 15(2); 1997 > Article
Journal of the Korean Society for Therapeutic Radiology 1997;15(2): 97-104.
Results of Coventional Radiotherapy for Carcinomas of the Tonsillar Region
Byung Sik Nah, Taek Keun Nam, Sung Ja Ahn, Woong Ki Chung
Deaprtm of Radiation Oncology, Chonnam University Medical School, Kwangju, Korea.
To evaluate the roles of conventional radiotherapy alone or with neoadjuvant chemotherapy for tonsillar carcinomas and any prognostic factors affecting survivals by retrospective analysis.
Thirty four patients received radical radiotherapy for tonsillar carcinomas from Nov. 1985 to Dec. 1993. Of them, 16 patients were treated by conventional radiotherapy alone and the other 18 patients were received radiotherapy with 1 to 3 cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy of cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil or pepleomycin. Radiotherapy was performed by 6MV X-ray with daily fraction of 1.8Gy and the range of primary tumor doses was 55.0-86.4Gy(median 66.6Gy), and that of clinically positive nodal doses was 55.8-90Gy(median 69.7Gy).
Overall 5-year actuarial survival rate (5YSR) was 32%. The 5YSRs in stage I+II(n=8), III(n=13) and IV(n=13) were 47%, 29% and 25%, respectively(p=0.33). The 5YSRs in T2(n=13), T3(n=10) and T4 (n=7) were 38%, 27% and 0%, respectively and 3 of 4 patients of T1 are alive with NED at 25, 45, 53 months respectively with statistical significance of the trend in survivals among the four T-stages(p=0.01), and those of node negative(n=14) vs node positive patients(n=20) were 31% vs 32%, respectively(p=0.85). There was no significant survival difference between radiotherapy alone group and with neoadjuvant chemotherapy group(22% vs. 38%, p=0.24). The 5YSRs of 21 patients of primary tumor extension to adjacent sites and the other 13 patients of tonsillar proper site were 28% and 38%, respectively but the difference was not significant statistically(p=0.62). There was a statistically significant difference in 5YSRs between the groups of the patients who received radiotherapy in less than 61days vs more than 60days(60% vs. 18%, p=0.027). All living patients without any tumor progression(n=11) had suffered from serious late sequelae such as xerostomia, edentia, dental caries and one patient had the osteoradionecrosis of mandible. On univariate analysis, the duration of radiotherapy and T-stage were the significant prognostic factors affecting 5YSR. On multivariate analysis, also the duration of radiotherapy was the only significant prognostic factor(p=0.01).
There was no survival difference between the radiotherapy alone and with neoadjuvant chemotherapy groups. Although it was a retrospective study, the role of conventional radiotherapy alone could be effective as the local treatment modality only for the early stage of tonsillar carcinomas. But for the purpose of more improved survivals and better quality of lives of living patients, other altered fractionation such as hyperfractionated radiotherapy with shorter treatment time and smaller fraction size rather than conventional radiotherapy might be beneficial and these prospective studies are needed.
Key Words: Tonsillar cancer, Conventional radiotherapy, Neoadjuvant chemotherapy
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