Health-Related Quality-of-Life Outcomes Following IMRT Versus Conventional Radiotherapy for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Min Yao, Lucy H. Karnell, Gerry F. Funk, Heming Lu, Ken Dornfeld, John M. Buatti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare health-related quality-of-life (HRQOL) outcomes of patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated using intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) vs. conventional radiotherapy (CRT). Patients and Methods: Patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma were extracted from the database of an ongoing longitudinal Outcome Assessment Project. Eligible criteria included (1) treated with definitive radiation, and (2) provided 12-month posttreatment HRQOL data. Excluded were 7 patients who received IMRT before October 1, 2002, during this institution's developmental phase of the IMRT technique. The HRQOL outcomes of patients treated with IMRT were compared with those of patients who received CRT. Results: Twenty-six patients treated using IMRT and 27 patients treated using CRT were included. Patients in the IMRT group were older and had more advanced-stage diseases and more patients received concurrent chemotherapy. However, the IMRT group had higher mean Head and Neck Cancer Inventory scores (which represent better outcomes) for each of the four head-and-neck cancer-specific domains, including eating, speech, aesthetics, and social disruption, at 12 months after treatment. A significantly greater percentage of patients in the CRT group had restricted diets compared with those in the IMRT group (48.0% vs. 16.0%, p = 0.032). At 3 months after treatment, both groups had significant decreases from pretreatment eating scores. However, the IMRT group had a significant improvement during the first year, but the CRT group had only small improvement. Conclusions: Proper delivery of IMRT can improve HRQOL for patients with oropharyngeal cancer compared with CRT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1354-1360
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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