Reduced-Dose Radiation Therapy for HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Carcinoma (NRG Oncology HN002)

Sue S. Yom, Pedro Torres-Saavedra, Jimmy J. Caudell, John N. Waldron, Maura L. Gillison, Ping Xia, Minh T. Truong, Christina Kong, Richard Jordan, Rathan M. Subramaniam, Min Yao, Christine H. Chung, Jessica L. Geiger, Jason W. Chan, Brian O'Sullivan, Dukagjin M. Blakaj, Loren K. Mell, Wade L. Thorstad, Christopher U. Jones, Robyn N. BanerjeeChristopher Lominska, Quynh Thu Le

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

201 Scopus citations


PURPOSEReducing radiation treatment dose could improve the quality of life (QOL) of patients with good-risk human papillomavirus-Associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Whether reduced-dose radiation produces disease control and QOL equivalent to standard chemoradiation is not proven.PATIENTS AND METHODSIn this randomized, phase II trial, patients with p16-positive, T1-T2 N1-N2b M0, or T3 N0-N2b M0 OPSCC (7th edition staging) with ≤ 10 pack-years of smoking received 60 Gy of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) over 6 weeks with concurrent weekly cisplatin (C) or 60 Gy IMRT over 5 weeks. To be considered for a phase III study, an arm had to achieve a 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) rate superior to a historical control rate of 85% and a 1-year mean composite score ≥ 60 on the MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI).RESULTSThree hundred six patients were randomly assigned and eligible. Two-year PFS for IMRT + C was 90.5% rejecting the null hypothesis of 2-year PFS ≤ 85% (P =.04). For IMRT, 2-year PFS was 87.6% (P =.23). One-year MDADI mean scores were 85.30 and 81.76 for IMRT + C and IMRT, respectively. Two-year overall survival rates were 96.7% for IMRT + C and 97.3% for IMRT. Acute adverse events (AEs) were defined as those occurring within 180 days from the end of treatment. There were more grade 3-4 acute AEs for IMRT + C (79.6% v 52.4%; P <.001). Rates of grade 3-4 late AEs were 21.3% and 18.1% (P =.56).CONCLUSIONThe IMRT + C arm met both prespecified end points justifying advancement to a phase III study. Higher rates of grade ≥ 3 acute AEs were reported in the IMRT + C arm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)956-965
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Mar 20 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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