Purpose: To assess the relationship for oropharyngeal (OP) cancer and nasopharyngeal (NP) cancer between the dose received by the swallowing structures and the dysphagia related quality of life (QoL). Methods and Materials: Between 2000 and 2005, 85 OP and 47 NP cancer patients were treated by radiation therapy. After 46 Gy, OP cancer is boosted by intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), brachytherapy (BT), or frameless stereotactic radiation/cyberknife (CBK). After 46 Gy, the NP cancer was boosted with parallel-opposed fields or IMRT to a total dose of 70 Gy; subsequently, a second boost was given by either BT (11 Gy) or stereotactic radiation (SRT)/CBK (11.2 Gy). Sixty OP and 21 NP cancer patients responded to functional and QoL questionnaires (i.e., the Performance Status Scales, European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer H&N35, and M.D. Anderson Dysphagia Inventory). The swallowing muscles were delineated and the mean dose calculated using the original three-dimensional computed tomography-based treatment plans. Univariate analyses were performed using logistic regression analysis. Results: Most dysphagia problems were observed in the base of tongue tumors. For OP cancer, boosting with IMRT resulted in more dysphagia as opposed to BT or SRT/CBK. For NPC patients, in contrast to the first booster dose (46-70 Gy), no additional increase of dysphagia by the second boost was observed. Conclusions: The lowest mean doses of radiation to the swallowing muscles were achieved when using BT as opposed to SRT/CBK or IMRT. For the 81 patients alive with no evidence of disease for at least 1 year, a dose-effect relationship was observed between the dose in the superior constrictor muscle and the "normalcy of diet" (Performance Status Scales) or "swallowing scale" (H&N35) scores (p < 0.01).

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doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.02.061, hdl.handle.net/1765/29732
International Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Teguh, D.N, Levendag, P.C, Noever, I, van Rooij, P.H, Voet, P.W.J, van der Est, H, … Schmitz, P.I.M. (2008). Treatment Techniques and Site Considerations Regarding Dysphagia-Related Quality of Life in Cancer of the Oropharynx and Nasopharynx. International Journal of Radiation: Oncology - Biology - Physics, 72(4), 1119–1127. doi:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.02.061