Quality of life and survival outcome for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma receiving three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy vs. intensity-modulated radiotherapy-a longitudinal study.Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2008 Oct 01; 72(2):356-64.IJ
To investigate the changes of quality of life (QoL) and survival outcomes for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) treated by three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3D-CRT) vs. intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).
METHODS AND MATERIALS
Two hundred and three newly diagnosed NPC patients, who were curatively treated by 3D-CRT (n = 93) or IMRT (n = 110) between March 2002 and July 2004, were analyzed. The distributions of clinical stage according to American Joint Committee on Cancer 1997 were I: 15 (7.4%), II: 78 (38.4%), III: 74 (36.5%), and IV: 36 (17.7%). QoL was longitudinally assessed by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) QLQ-C30 and the EORTC QLQ-H&N35 questionnaires at the five time points: before RT, during RT (36 Gy), and 3 months, 12 months, and 24 months after RT.
The 3-year locoregional control, metastasis-free survival, and overall survival rates were 84.8%, 76.7%, and 81.7% for the 3D-CRT group, respectively, compared with 84.2%, 82.6%, and 85.4% for the IMRT group (p value > 0.05). A general trend of maximal deterioration in most QoL scales was observed during RT, followed by a gradual recovery thereafter. There was no significant difference in most scales between the two groups at each time point. The exception was that patients treated by IMRT had a both statistically and clinically significant improvement in global QoL, fatigue, taste/smell, dry mouth, and feeling ill at the time point of 3 months after RT.
The potential advantage of IMRT over 3D-CRT in treating NPC patients might occur in QoL outcome during the recovery phase of acute toxicity.