Introduction: Proton beam therapy (PBT) reduces normal organ dose compared to intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for patients with major salivary gland tumors. It is not known whether this dosimetric advantage is clinically meaningful for reducing acute toxicity.
Methods: We evaluated treatment parameters and acute toxicity outcomes of patients with major salivary gland cancers enrolled on the Proton Collaborative Group REG001-09 trial (NCT01255748).
Results: One-hundred and five patients with a median age of 61 years were included. The majority had parotid (N = 90) versus submandibular gland (N = 15) tumors. The patients were treated across seven institutions in the United States between 2010 and 2017, most commonly in the postoperative setting (70.5%) although a minority were treated definitively (29.5%). Median PBT dose was 66.5 GyE in 33 fractions; only one patient was prescribed less than 50 GyE. Chemotherapy was given concurrently to 20%. Median follow-up was 14.3 months. Acute grade 2 or higher toxicity included nausea (1.5%), dysgeusia (4.8%), xerostomia (7.6%), mucositis (10.5%) and dysphagia (10.5%).
Conclusions: PBT should be strongly considered when ipsilateral radiation therapy is indicated for major salivary gland cancer based on a considerably lower incidence of acute grade 2 or higher toxicity in this analysis compared to historical IMRT outcomes.
Chuong M, Bryant J, Hartsell W, Larson G, Badiyan S, Laramore GE, Katz S, Tsai H, Vargas C. Minimal acute toxicity from proton beam therapy for major salivary gland cancer. Acta Oncol. 2020 Feb;59(2):196-200. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2019.1698764. Epub 2019 Dec 5. PMID: 31805791.
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