Long-term recurrence-free survival after an unplanned reduction in radiotherapy for HPV-positive oropharyngeal SCC: Two cases and a review of the literature

Jason Liu, David Goldenberg, Salah Almokadem, Henry Crist, Heath B. Mackley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is currently no clear distinction between the treatment of HPV-positive and HPV-negative oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). HPV-positive OPSCC has been demonstrated to be more radiosensitive than its HPV-negative counterpart. Despite this, patients with HPV-positive OPSCC continue to receive a full dose of radiation (70 Gy) outside clinical trials. However, this high dose comes with considerable morbidities, including severe mucositis, dysphagia, and xerostomia. We describe the cases of 2 patients with HPV-positive OPSCC who received two cycles of high-dose cisplatin at 100 mg/m2 on 3 separate days, along with concurrent radiotherapy at 50 Gy in 25 fractions for one and 46 Gy in 23 fractions for the other. During treatment, both patients experienced significant acute-phase toxicities-including grade 3 mucositis, grade 3 nausea, and grade 2 dermatitis-and their treatment regimen was stopped before its planned completion. Nevertheless, after a follow-up of 75 and 78 months, respectively, neither patient exhibited any evidence of disease. Late toxicities included grade 1 xerostomia, grade 1 pharyngeal-phase dysphagia, and grade 1 dysgeusia with some foods. We conclude that de-escalating the dose of radiation for HPV-positive patients by 30% and identifying which patients can safely be treated with this level of dose reduction warrants further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberE23
JournalEar, Nose and Throat Journal
Volume96
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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