Two-year results from a Swedish study on conventional versus accelerated radiotherapy in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma The ARTSCAN study

Bjorn Zackrisson, Per Nilsson, Elisabeth Kjellén, Karl-Axel Johansson, Hans Modig, Eva Brun, Jan Nyman, Signe Friesland, Johan Reizenstein, Helena Sjodin, Lars Ekberg, Britta Loden, Claes Mercke, Jan-Olof Fernberg, Lars Franzen, Anders Ask, Essie Persson, Gun Wickart-Johansson, Freddi Lewin, Lena WittgrenOve Bjor, Thomas Bjork-Eriksson

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Background and purpose: Studies on accelerated fractionation (AF) in head and neck cancer have shown increased local control and survival compared with conventional fractionation (CF), while others have been non-conclusive. In 1998 a national Swedish group decided to perform a randomised controlled clinical study of AF. Materials and methods: Patients with verified squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, oropharynx, larynx (except glottic T1 -T2, N0) and hypopharynx were included. Patients with prior chemotherapy or surgery were excluded. Patients were randomised to either CF (2 Gy/day, 5 days/week for 7 weeks, total dose 68 Gy) or to AF (1.1 Gy + 2.0 Gy/day, 5 days/week for 4.5 weeks, total dose 68 Gy). An extensive quality assurance protocol was followed throughout the study. The primary end point was loco-regional tumour control (LRC) at two years after treatment. Results: The study was closed in 2006 when 750 patients had been randomised. Eighty-three percent of the patients had stages III-IV disease. Forty eight percent had oropharyngeal, 21% laryngeal, 17% hypopharyngeal and 14% oral cancers. There were no significant differences regarding overall survival (OS) or LRC between the two regimens. The OS at two years was 68% for AF and 67% for CF. The corresponding figures for LRC were 71% and 67%, respectively. There was a trend towards improved LRC for oral cancers treated (p = 0.07) and for large tumours (T3-T4) (p = 0.07) treated with AF. The AF group had significantly worse acute reactions, while there was no significant increase in late effects. Conclusion: Overall the AF regimen did not prove to be more efficacious than CF. However, the trend towards improved results in AF for oral cancers needs to be further investigated. (c) 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved. Radiotherapy and Oncology 100 (2011) 41-48
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Bibliographical note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015.
The record was previously connected to the following departments: Radiation Physics, Lund (013034000), Oncology, MV (013035000), Emergency medicine/Medicine/Surgery (013240200)

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Free keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Randomised trial
  • Radiotherapy
  • Accelerated
  • fractionation


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