Assessment of quality of life in patients treated with accelerated radiotherapy for laryngeal and hypopharyngeal carcinomas

Head Neck. 2000 May;22(3):288-93. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0347(200005)22:3<288::aid-hed12>;2-b.


Background: This study was conducted to evaluate quality of life (QOL) and functional outcome in patients with carcinomas of the larynx and hypopharynx treated with accelerated radiotherapy (RT).

Methods: Between January 1991 and September 1996, 21 patients treated with accelerated concomitant boost RT schedule (69.9 Gy in 5. 5 weeks) for laryngeal (n = 10) or hypopharyngeal (n = 11) carcinomas and who remained free of disease at 1-year minimum follow-up were evaluated. The functional outcome was assessed by the subjective Performance Status Scale for Head and Neck cancer (PSSHN) and general QOL by the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Core QOL questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-C30). The median length of follow-up was 37 months (range, 13 to 75).

Results: The PSSHN scores were 89, 84, and 86, respectively, for eating in public, understandability of speech and normalcy of diet (100 = normal function). Significantly lower scores for understandability of speech were observed in patients with advanced and laryngeal carcinomas. Normalcy of diet was affected negatively by the severity of xerostomia. All mean functional scale scores of the EORTC QLQ-C30 module were 20% to 25% below the higher score. Most of these scale scores were significantly affected by the severity of xerostomia.

Conclusions: Patients treated with concomitant boost RT for laryngeal and hypopharyngeal carcinomas appear to have similar QOL and functional outcome to those reported for patients treated with conventional or hyperfractionated RT. As expected, many QOL scales were affected by the severity of xero- stomia.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hypopharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy* / adverse effects
  • Radiotherapy, High-Energy* / methods
  • Social Isolation
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Treatment Outcome