gms | German Medical Science

27th German Cancer Congress Berlin 2006

German Cancer Society (Frankfurt/M.)

22. - 26.03.2006, Berlin

Simultaneous radiochemotherapy (RCT) and accelerated comcomitant boost radiotherapy (CBT) in advanced head and neck (H&N) cancer: Long term results and late sequelae

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author presenting/speaker Patrick Schüller - Strahlentherapie, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Deutschland
  • Ulrich Schäfer - Strahlentherapie, Klinikum Lippe-Lemgo
  • Oliver Micke - Strahlentherapie, Universitätsklinikum Münster
  • Normann Willich - Strahlentherapie, Universitätsklinikum Münster

27. Deutscher Krebskongress. Berlin, 22.-26.03.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. DocPO255

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: March 20, 2006

© 2006 Schüller et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Purpose: To compare the long term survival results and late sequelae of two different treatment regimens in the multimodality treatment of advanced, inoperable head and neck cancer.

Material and methods: From 7/1992 to 6/2003, 196 patients (median age: 57 years) with inoperable H&N tumors were treated according to 2 different protocols: 112 patients received RCT (70.2 Gy in 39 fractions, cisplatin/5-FU), and 84 patients accelerated radiotherapy (CBT: 72 Gy in 41 fractions; 6 weeks). Choice of treatment was done according to patients’ preference or contraindications against chemotherapy. Survival (OS/DSS) and freedom from progression (FFP) were calculated (median follow-up 45 months). Known and suspected prognostic factors were analyzed for their influence. Late sequelae were investigated by standardized prospective documentation during follow up and completed by additional telephone calls.

Results: 3 year OS (RCT/CBT) amounted to 37.4%/28.6%, 5 year OS to 26.4%/21.4%. The difference was not significant (p=0.2484). 3 year FFP (RCT/CBT) amounted to 40.0%/33.4%, 5 year FFP to 30.5%/24.3% (p=0.5209). General condition (p<0.0001) and hemoglobin (p=0.0009) had a significant influence on survival. Grade III/IV late sequelae occurred in the following percentages (RCT/CBT): skin (8.2%/4.6%;p=0.503); mucosa (4.1%/0.0%;p=0.101); xerostomia (6.8%/2.1%;p=.0472); laryngitis (1.4%/0.0%;p=0.281); lymphedema (1.4%/2.2%;p=0.475).

Conclusions: With both treatment schemes, long term tumor control and survival could be achieved in about 20-30%. We could not show a superiority of radiochemotherapy over accelerated radiotherapy alone. The predominant late sequelae were skin fibrosis, mucosal atrophy and xerostomia.