Feasibility of Tomotherapy-based image-guided radiotherapy to reduce aspiration risk in patients with non-laryngeal and non-pharyngeal head and neck cancer.

PloS one

PubMedID: 23505414

Nguyen NP, Smith-Raymond L, Vinh-Hung V, Vos P, Davis R, Desai A, Sroka T, Abraham D, Krafft SP, Stevie M, Modarresifar H, Jo BH, Ceizyk M. Feasibility of Tomotherapy-based image-guided radiotherapy to reduce aspiration risk in patients with non-laryngeal and non-pharyngeal head and neck cancer. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(3):e56290.
PURPOSE
The study aims to assess the feasibility of Tomotherapy-based image-guided radiotherapy (IGRT) to reduce the aspiration risk in patients with non-laryngeal and non-hypopharyngeal cancer. A retrospective review of 48 patients undergoing radiation for non-laryngeal and non-hypopharyngeal head and neck cancers was conducted. All patients had a modified barium swallow (MBS) prior to treatment, which was repeated one month following radiotherapy. Mean middle and inferior pharyngeal dose was recorded and correlated with the MBS results to determine aspiration risk.

RESULTS
Mean pharyngeal dose was 23.2 Gy for the whole group. Two patients (4.2%) developed trace aspiration following radiotherapy which resolved with swallowing therapy. At a median follow-up of 19 months (1-48 months), all patients were able to resume normal oral feeding without aspiration.

CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
IGRT may reduce the aspiration risk by decreasing the mean pharyngeal dose in the presence of large cervical lymph nodes. Further prospective studies with IGRT should be performed in patients with non-laryngeal and non-hypopharyngeal head and neck cancers to verify this hypothesis.