Low contralateral failure rate with unilateral proton beam radiotherapy for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: A multi-institutional prospective study from the proton collaborative group.

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Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology


INTRODUCTION: Unilateral radiation therapy is appropriate for select patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). The use of proton beam therapy (PBT) in the unilateral setting decreases the dose to the contralateral neck and organs at risk. This study aims to evaluate contralateral recurrences in patients who received ipsilateral PBT.

METHODS: We evaluated the Proton Collaborative Group database for patients treated with PBT for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma between the years 2015-2020 at 12 institutions. Dosimetric analysis was performed in five cases.

RESULTS: Our analysis included 41 patients that received ipsilateral PBT with a mean follow-up of 14.7 months. 37% patients (n = 15) were treated for recurrent disease, and 63% (n = 26) were treated for de novo disease. Oropharyngeal sites included tonsillar fossa (n = 30) and base of tongue (n = 11). The median dose and BED delivered were 69.96 CGE and 84 Gy, respectively. Eight (20%) patients experienced at least one grade 3 dysphagia (n = 4) or esophagitis (n = 4) toxicity. No grade ≥ 4 toxicities were reported. There was one (2.4%) failure in the contralateral neck. The 1-year locoregional control was 88.9% and the freedom from distant metastasis was 95.5% (n = 2). The dosimetric analysis demonstrated similar ipsilateral level II cervical nodal region doses, whereas contralateral doses were higher with photon plans, mean: 15.5 Gy and 0.7CGE, D5%: 25.1 Gy and 6.6CGE.

CONCLUSIONS: Our series is the first to report outcomes for patients with OPSCC receiving unilateral PBT. The contralateral neck failure rate was excellent and comparable to failure rates with photon irradiation.



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