Trismus, a well-known sequelae after treatment of head and neck cancer, decreases a patient's oral function and quality of life. The main objectives of this study were to: 1) investigate the long-term prevalence of radiation-induced trismus in patients treated for head and neck cancer according to two different fractionation schedules; and 2) model a dose-response relationship for trismus. Material and methods. Patients were recruited from the Swedish ARTSCAN trial, a prospective randomised multicentre study comparing conventional and accelerated fractionation. A total of 124 patients agreed to a clinical ENT examination 21-127 months (median 66 months) after beginning radiation therapy. Trismus-related scores were assessed using the EORTC H&N35 Quality of Life questionnaire. The TheraBite(®) range of motion scale was used to measure maximal interincisal distance. The dose-response relationship for structures important for mastication and the temporomandibular joints was investigated by normal tissue complication probability modelling. Results. No significant differences in patient-reported trismus or maximal interincisal distance were found between the two trial arms. Patient-reported moderate to high scores regarding trismus increased from 3% at the start of radiation therapy to 25% at the long-term follow-up. Maximal interincisal distance correlated significantly with patient-reported scores of trismus. The best dose-response fit to the endpoint data was found for the dose to the ipsilateral masseter. Conclusions. Trismus is a persistent complication after radiotherapy with 3D-conformal radiation therapy. We found no difference between the severity and prevalence of trismus between conventional and accelerated fractionation, but a significant correlation between the absorbed dose to the mastication structures and opening of the mouth. Further prospective studies may determine whether a reduced dose to structures important for mastication using intensity-modulated radiation therapy will reduce problems with trismus.
|Status||Published - 2014|
- Cancer och onkologi