Background: We assessed the non-inferiority of accelerated fractionation (AF) (2.4 Gy/fraction) compared with standard fractionation (SF) (2 Gy/fraction) regarding progression-free survival (PFS) in patients with T1-2N0M0 glottic cancer (GC).
Patients and methods: In this multi-institutional, randomized, phase III trial, patients were enrolled from 32 Japanese institutions. Key inclusion criteria were GC T1-2N0M0, age 20-80, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0-1, and adequate organ function. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either SF of 66-70 Gy (33-35 fractions), or AF of 60-64.8 Gy (25-27 fractions). The primary end point was the proportion of 3-year PFS. The planned sample size was 360 with a non-inferiority margin of 5%.
Results: Between 2007 and 2013, 370 patients were randomized (184/186 to SF/AF). Three-year PFS was 79.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] 73.4-85.4) for SF and 81.7% (95% CI 75.4-87.0) for AF (difference 1.8%, 91% CI-5.1% to 8.8%; one-sided P = 0.047 > 0.045). The cumulative incidences of local failure at 3 years for SF/AF were 15.9%/10.3%. No significant difference was observed in 3-year overall survival (OS) between SF and AF. Grade 3 or 4 acute and late toxicities developed in 22 (12.4%)/21 (11.5%) and 2 (1.1%)/1 (0.5%) in the SF/AF arms.
Conclusion: Although the non-inferiority of AF was not confirmed statistically, the similar efficacy and toxicity of AF compared with SF, as well as the practical convenience of its fewer treatment sessions, suggest the potential of AF as a treatment option for early GC.
Clinical trials registration: UMIN Clinical Trial Registry, number UMIN000000819.