Simultaneous evaluation of symptoms, swallowing functions, and patient-reported swallowing difficulties and their correlations with ingestion status during definitive chemoradiotherapy for oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer

Ryo Ishii, Kengo Kato, Akira Ohkoshi, Takeshi Sato, Ai Hirano, Takenori Ogawa, Yukio Katori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To clarify the correlations among symptoms, swallowing functions, and ingestion status and to validate a method of swallowing evaluation during chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for head and neck cancer. Methods: Oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer patients who were to receive definitive CRT as initial treatment were included in this prospective, single-center, observational study. The Functional Oral Intake Scale (FOIS) for ingestion status and grades of symptoms (dryness, dysgeusia, mucositis, and the analgesic ladder); the Yale Pharyngeal Residue Severity Rating Scale on fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) and the Penetration-Aspiration Scale (PAS) on videofluoroscopic (VF) evaluation for swallowing functions; and the 10-item Eating Assessment Tool (EAT-10) questionnaire were assessed at 5 time points unless the participant refused. The FEES and VF evaluation findings at each point were also compared. Results: There were 38 participants. Dysgeusia, mucositis, and pain grade, as well as the FOIS score, were the worst at 70 Gy and then improved after treatment. The improvements of pharyngeal residue and the PAS after treatment were limited. The EAT-10 and the pain ladder were highly correlated with the FOIS changes at many time points. The VF evaluation rate dropped after 40 Gy, whereas the FEES rate remained high. There were good correlations between pharyngeal residue and the PAS at 0 Gy, 70 Gy, and 3 months. Conclusion: The EAT-10 and pain reflected the FOIS score changes well, while two swallowing evaluations did not. To avoid aspiration, VF evaluation may not be necessary during CRT because of high correlations with pharyngeal residue on FEES.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Ingestion status
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Swallowing evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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