News | Radiation Therapy | October 09, 2018

Surgery, Radiation Therapy Equally Effective in Treating Oropharyngeal Cancer

Research results suggest quality-of-life factors should inform treatment decisions

Surgery, Radiation Therapy Equally Effective in Treating Oropharyngeal Cancer

October 9, 2018 — A new study by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center found no major long-term differences in the effectiveness of radiation therapy versus surgery in treating an increasingly diagnosed head and neck cancer. Given these results, investigators suggest quality-of-life factors should help inform a treatment decision between the two therapies.

The findings comparing the effectiveness of definitive radiotherapy with primary surgery were published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.1

The investigators performed a comparative effectiveness analysis in patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC), focusing on survival, side effects and costs. The study merged the HealthCore Integrated Research Database with state cancer registry data to identify 884 patients diagnosed with OPSCC from 2007 to 2014. The authors found no statistical differences between radiotherapy vs. surgery in overall survival, long-term gastrostomy dependence (stomach tube use), esophageal dilation or restriction, and bone toxicity effects. There was, however, an increase in acute gastrostomy use among radiotherapy patients who also received chemotherapy.

“While historical treatment outcomes for oropharyngeal cancer were quite poor, the combination of treatment innovations and more favorable tumor biology have resulted in three-year survival for over 75 percent of patients in this analysis,” said David Sher, M.D., associate professor of radiation oncology and of clinical sciences at UT Southwestern, and first author of this JAMA Otolaryngology study.

Sher believes that future research in this area should focus not just on oncologic results but also on patient quality of life and functional outcomes. “Both local therapy paradigms for HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer are expected to change significantly over the next five years, so it is crucial to prospectively study the impact of novel treatment approaches on patient-centered outcomes.”

The study was funded by the Radiation Oncology Institute and co-authored by HealthCore, the outcomes research subsidiary for Anthem Inc.

It further showed that, for both treatments, costs were about $100,000 for payers and $5,000 for patients. Sher observed, “The absence of any significant cost differences further emphasizes how central patient-reported outcomes will be on the comparative value of the two therapies.”

Abiy Agiro, Ph.D., director of translational research at HealthCore concurred: “Our findings suggest that patient preference can be the main driver of local therapy selection as both surgery and radiation therapy were equally viable choices in terms of clinical outcomes with no cost difference.”

For more information: www.jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaotolaryngology

 

Reference

1. Sher D.J., Agiro A., Zhou S., et al. Commercial Claims–Based Comparison of Survival and Toxic Effects of Definitive Radiotherapy vs Primary Surgery in Patients With Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma. JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Sept. 20, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2018.1929

Related Content

UFHPTI expands its proton therapy capacity and treatment range with the Proteous One
News | Radiation Therapy | December 12, 2019
December 12, 2019 — IBA (Ion Beam Applications SA) announced that

Image courtesy of Elekta 

News | Radiation Therapy | December 11, 2019
December 11, 2019 — A new clinical guideline from the American Soci...
EMR patient portal on a smartphone
News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | December 11, 2019
December 11, 2019 — Despite the numerous benefits associated with patients accessing their medical records, a new stu
Damage from concussion alters the way information is transmitted between the two halves of the brain, according to a new study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

Image courtesy of RSNA

News | Clinical Trials | December 10, 2019
December 10, 2019 — Damage from...
RaySearch Laboratories AB (publ) has experienced strong growth in recent years, creating the need for larger and more efficient premises
News | Radiation Therapy | December 09, 2019
December 9, 2019 — Karin Gedda, architect and i
After receiving acupuncture treatment three days a week during the course of radiation treatment, head and neck cancer patients experienced less dry mouth, according to study results from researchers at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Image by Rudolf Langer from Pixabay 

News | Clinical Trials | December 06, 2019
December 6, 2019 — After receiving acupuncture treatment three days a week during the course of...
Timothy Whelan is a professor of oncology at McMaster University and a radiation oncologist at the Juravinski Cancer Centre of Hamilton Health Sciences. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer Research. Photo courtesy McMaster University

Timothy Whelan is a professor of oncology at McMaster University and a radiation oncologist at the Juravinski Cancer Centre of Hamilton Health Sciences. He holds a Canada Research Chair in Breast Cancer Research. Photo courtesy McMaster University. Photo courtesy of McMaster University

News | Breast Imaging | December 06, 2019
December 6, 2019 — A shorter course of higher-dose radiation treatment to part of the breast is showing promise in wo