[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 25-Feb-2010
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Contact: Beth Bukata
bethb@astro.org
703-431-2332
American Society for Radiation Oncology

Larynx preservation treatments result in low instance of severe voice disability, nutritional dysfunction

Head and neck cancer patients receiving induction chemotherapy followed by radiation to preserve their larynx have a low-risk of severe voice disability and almost half experienced no eating or swallowing problems, according to a first of its kind study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.

Total larynx removal with permanent tracheotomy is the current standard treatment for patients with cancer of the larynx. While larynx preservation using chemotherapy followed by radiation is an effective treatment, the functional results are often not reported and the quality of life for these patients unknown.

Researchers at the Hopital Bretonneau in Tours, France, the Centre Hospitalier in Lorient, France, the Centre Paul Papin in Angers, France, the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, and the Institut Sainte Catherine in Avignon, France, observed 213 patients who received induction chemotherapy using Ciplatin and 5FU without (PF) or with Docetaxel (TPF) followed by radiation and evaluated the quality of the voice, the nutritional function and the quality of life.

After 61 months of follow up, the laryngo-esophageal dysfunction free-survival was 28 percent when averaging the PF arm and the TPF arm. Voice disability was low for 57 percent of patients, with only 15 percent experiencing severe voice disability. Forty percent of patients had no eating or swallowing problems at all and 8 percent required a feeding tube.

"For cancer patients receiving treatment to their larynx, it is important to preserve the organ, but it is more important to preserve the function of this organ," Gilles Calais, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the Hopital Bretonneau in Tours, France, said. "This is the first study that analyzes not only the preservation rate but also the preservation of the function of the larynx and the esophagus."

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The abstract, "Induction Chemotherapy Followed by Radiation for Larynx preservation. Functional Results of the Gortec 2000-01 Randomized Trial," will be presented in the plenary session on Thursday, February 25, 2010. To speak with one of the study authors, contact Beth Bukata or Nicole Napoli on February 25-26, 2010, in the press room at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa at 520-796-8228. You may also e-mail them at bethb@astro.org or nicolen@astro.org.

About the American Head and Neck Society

The American Head and Neck Society (AHNS) is the single largest organization in North America for the advancement of research and education in head and neck oncology. The purpose of the AHNS is to promote and advance the knowledge of prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of neoplasms and other diseases of the head and neck; to promote and advance research in diseases of the head and neck; and to promote and advance the highest professional and ethical standards.

About the American Society of Clinical Oncology

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) is the world's leading professional organization representing physicians who care for people with cancer. With more than 28,000 members, ASCO is committed to improving cancer care through scientific meetings, educational programs and peer-reviewed journals. For ASCO information and resources, visit www.asco.org. Patient-oriented cancer information is available at www.Cancer.Net.

About the American Society for Radiation Oncology

ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As the leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to improving patient care through education, clinical practice, advancement of science and advocacy. For more information on radiation therapy, visit www.rtanswers.org. To learn more about ASTRO, visit www.astro.org. About SNM—Advancing Molecular Imaging and Therapy SNM is an international scientific and medical organization dedicated to raising public awareness about what molecular imaging is and how it can help provide patients with the best health care possible. SNM members specialize in molecular imaging, a vital element of today's medical practice that adds an additional dimension to diagnosis, changing the way common and devastating diseases are understood and treated. SNM's more than 17,000 members set the standard for molecular imaging and nuclear medicine practice by creating guidelines, sharing information through journals and meetings and leading advocacy on key issues that affect molecular imaging and therapy research and practice. For more information, visit http://www.snm.org.



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