BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Geriatric impairments and frailty are highly prevalent in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC). This study investigated the association of frailty and outcomes of geriatric assessment (GA) with radiation-induced toxicity (RIT) in patients undergoing (chemo)radiotherapy ((C)RT) for HNC.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between October 2014 and April 2016, patients with HNC were prospectively included in OncoLifeS, an institutional data-biobank. Before treatment initiation, patients underwent GA and frailty screening (Groningen Frailty Indicator and Geriatric 8). The main outcome of this study was RIT (weight loss, mucositis, salivary gland inflammation, oral pain, sore throat, hoarseness, dry mouth, dysgeusia, dysphagia and general pain) according to the common terminology criteria of adverse events (CTCAE) version 4.0. Linear mixed models were performed, to analyse factors associated with increasing mean RIT over time during the treatment period.

RESULTS: 160 patients were included. 114 (71.3%) were male and the mean age was 66.1 years. Age ≥ 65 (β = 0.03(95 %CI = 0.01;0.05), p = 0.01), regional RT (β = 0.05(95 %CI = 0.02;0.09), p = 0.004), and concurrent chemotherapy (β = 0.04(95 %CI = 0.02;0.07), p = 0.001), were independent factors associated with increasing toxicity during the 7-week treatment period, adjusted for relevant covariates. None of the single items of GA, as well as the frailty screening instruments, were associated with increasing RIT.

CONCLUSION: In this study, frailty and GA were not associated with additional RIT during treatment. These results suggest that (C)RT is equally tolerated in frail and non-frail patients, with respect to acute RIT. RT could be a suitable alternative to surgery in selected frail patients.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's10
TijdschriftOral Oncology
StatusPublished - jul.-2022

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