Medline: 8407397

International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics 27(2): 235-240, 1993.

Neutron versus photon irradiation for unresectable salivary gland tumors: final report of an RTOG-MRC randomized clinical trial.

Laramore GE, Krall JM, Griffin TW, et al.


To compare the efficacy of fast neutron radiotherapy versus conventional photon and/or electron radiotherapy for unresectable, malignant salivary gland tumors a randomized clinical trial comparing was sponsored by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group in the United States and the Medical Research Council in Great Britain.

AND MATERIALS: Eligibility criteria included either inoperable primary or recurrent major or minor salivary gland tumors. Patients were stratified by surgical status (primary vs. recurrent), tumor size (less than or greater than 5 cm), and histology (squamous or malignant mixed versus other). After a total of 32 patients were entered onto this study, it appeared that the group receiving fast neutron radiotherapy had a significantly improved local/regional control rate and also a borderline improvement in survival and the study was stopped earlier than planned for ethical reasons. Twenty-five patients were study-eligible and analyzable.

Ten-year follow-up data for this study is presented. On an actuarial basis, there continues to be a statistically-significant p = 0.009) but there is no improvement in overall survival (15% vs. 25%, p = n.s.). Patterns of failure are analyzed and it is shown that distant metastases account for the majority of failures on the neutron arm and local/regional failures account for the majority of failures on the photon arm. Long-term, treatment-related morbidity is analyzed and while the incidence of morbidity graded "severe" was greater on the neutron arm, there was no significant difference in "life-threatening" complications. This work is placed in the context of other series of malignant salivary gland tumors treated with definitive radiotherapy.

Fast neutron radiotherapy appears to be the treatment-of-choice for patients with inoperable primary of recurrent malignant salivary gland tumors.

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