Short Course Palliative Radiotherapy in Locally Advanced Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck
AbstractThis prospective cohort study was conducted at the Combined Military Hospital, Dhaka during January 2003
to December 2005. Thirty patients with locally advanced stage III and stage IV squamous cell carcinoma of
head and neck were treated with a short course palliative radiotherapy (30 Gray in 10 fractions over 2 weeks).
All (100%) patients with pain and 90% of patients with dysphagia, dyspnoea and disturbed sleep had greater
than 50% relief in symptoms after radiotherapy. Dysphonia and cough were satisfactorily relieved in more
than 60% of cases. Eight of 30 lesions in this study had complete response; 14 lesions had a partial response; 4
lesions had no response; 2 lesions progressed under treatment. Response could not be assessed in two patients.
Acute and late reactions were acceptable. After palliative radiotherapy 8(27%) patients were eligible for dose
escalation and received further radiotherapy upto radical dose equivalent. It was concluded that short course
palliative radiotherapy regimen evaluated is an effective treatment modality for sustained symptoms relief
with good response rates and acceptable toxicity in locally advanced head-neck cancer.
Key words: Palliation; radiotherapy; short course; head and neck cancer.
Journal of Armed Forces Medical College, Bangladesh Vol.6(1) 2010 p.16-20