SourceClinical Cancer Research, 20, 5, (2014), pp. 1345-54
Article / Letter to editor
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Clinical Cancer Research
SubjectRadboudumc 17: Women's cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
PURPOSE: Anemia is associated with poor tumor control. It was previously observed that accelerated radiotherapy combined with carbogen breathing and nicotinamide (ARCON) can correct this adverse outcome in patients with head and neck cancer. The purpose of this study was to validate this observation based on data from a randomized trial. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Of 345 patients with cT2-4 laryngeal cancer, 174 were randomly assigned to accelerated radiotherapy and 171 to ARCON. Hemoglobin levels, measured before treatment, were defined as low when <7.5 mmol/L for women and <8.5 mmol/L for men. The hypoxia marker pimonidazole was used to assess the oxygenation status in tumor biopsies. Data were analyzed 2 years after inclusion of the last patient. RESULTS: Pretreatment hemoglobin levels were available and below normal in 27 of 173 (16%) accelerated radiotherapy and 27 of 167 (16%) ARCON patients. In patients with normal pretreatment, hemoglobin levels treatment with ARCON had no significant effect on 5-year loco-regional control (LRC, 79% versus 75%; P = 0.44) and disease-free survival (DFS, 75% vs. 70%; P = 0.46) compared with accelerated radiotherapy. However, in patients with low pretreatment, hemoglobin levels ARCON significantly improved 5-year LRC (79% vs. 53%; P = 0.03) and DFS (68% vs. 45%; P = 0.04). In multivariate analysis including other prognostic factors, pretreatment hemoglobin remained prognostic for LRC and DFS in the accelerated radiotherapy treatment arm. No correlation between pretreatment hemoglobin levels and pimonidazole uptake was observed. CONCLUSION: Results from the randomized phase III trial support previous observations that ARCON has the potential to correct the poor outcome of cancer patients with anemia (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00147732). Clin Cancer Res; 20(5); 1345-54. (c)2014 AACR.
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