Objective: The objective of this study was to determine the efficacy of quad-shot radiation therapy for palliation in locally advanced and metastatic inoperable squamous cell carcinomas of head and neck.
Study Design: A quasi-experimental study.
Place and Duration of Study: Oncology department, Combined Military Hospital Rawalpindi, from Sep 2012 to Sep 2013.
Material and Methods: Thirty five patients were included with histologically confirmed advanced inoperable squamous cell carcinoma in head and neck region, performance status 2 or 3 and survival ≥3 months. Patients were treated with radiation therapy 14 Gy in four fractions, megavoltage beam, twice daily fractions (at least 6 hours apart), for 2 consecutive days. Symptoms due to cancer (pain and dysphagia) were assessed as per common toxicity criteria adverse event version 4.0 on day 0 before treatment and day 21 after start of treatment.
Results: Grades of pain and dysphagia showed significant improvement after treatment with a p-value <0.001. A total of 91.4% patients showed an improvement in grade of pain (32 out of 35 patients) and 45.7% of patients showed improvement in grade of dysphagia (16 out of 35 patients). There was a statistically significant decrease in grades of pain and dysphagia after treatment.
Conclusion: The short duration of hypofractionated radiotherapy with Quad Shot was effective with respect to symptom palliation in locally advanced and metastatic inoperable head and neck cancers.
Keywords : Hypofractionated, Radiotherapy, Squamous cell carcinoma.