Reducing Treatment Doses in Head and Neck Cancer to Improve QOL

January 19, 2017

In this video we discuss efforts to reduce treatment doses in order to lessen long-term side effects and improve quality of life among patients with head and neck cancers.

In this video, Barbara Burtness, MD, of the Yale Cancer Center and Smilow Cancer Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut, discusses efforts to reduce treatment doses in order to lessen long-term side effects and improve quality of life (QOL) among patients with head and neck cancers.

One of the studies she discusses was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology and showed that a subgroup of patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)–associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma who were treated at a reduced radiation dose (≤ 54 Gy) had reduced side effects, with fewer patients having difficulty swallowing solid food (40% vs 89%; P = .011) or impaired nutrition (10% vs 44%; P = .025).