Introduction: In a previous report of 35 patients we suggested that pretreatment tumour pO(2) measured by Eppendorf electrodes was predictive of loco-regional control after primary radiotherapy in advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Radiother Oncol 41 (1996) 31.
Materials and methods: The aim of the present study was to test this hypothesis. Therefore, pretreatment tumour pO(2) was measured using the same assay in a new cohort of 35 patients that received an identical treatment being primary radiation along with a total dose of 66-68 Gy as 2 Gy per fraction over 5.5 or 6.5 weeks. Treatment outcome was evaluated as loco-regional control probability at 2 years using the same oxygenation parameter and applying the cut-off value from the first study.
Results: In agreement with the hypothesis generating study we found that the loco-regional tumour control probability was significantly higher (90%) among well oxygenated tumours as compared with the hypoxic subgroup (45%) (P=0. 04).
Conclusion: This study confirmed that pretreatment tumour oxygenation status was prognostic of loco-regional tumour control after primary radiation alone in advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.