A multicentric randomized controlled phase III trial of adaptive and 18F-FDG-PET-guided dose-redistribution in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (ARTFORCE).

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

This multicenter randomized phase III trial evaluated whether locoregional control of patients with LAHNSCC could be improved by fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET)-guided dose-escalation while minimizing the risk of increasing toxicity using a dose-redistribution and scheduled adaptation strategy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Patients with T3-4-N0-3-M0 LAHNSCC were randomly assigned (1:1) to either receive a dose distribution ranging from 64-84 Gy/35 fractions with adaptation at the 10thfraction (rRT) or conventional 70 Gy/35 fractions (cRT). Both arms received concurrent three-cycle 100 mg/m2cisplatin. Primary endpoints were 2-year locoregional control (LRC) and toxicity. Primary analysis was based on the intention-to-treat principle.

RESULTS

Due to slow accrual, the study was prematurely closed (at 84 %) after randomizing 221 eligible patients between 2012 and 2019 to receive rRT (N = 109) or cRT (N = 112). The 2-year LRC estimate difference of 81 % (95 %CI 74-89 %) vs. 74 % (66-83 %) in the rRT and cRT arm, respectively, was not found statistically significant (HR 0.75, 95 %CI 0.43-1.31,P=.31). Toxicity prevalence and incidence rates were similar between trial arms, with exception for a significant increased grade ≥ 3 pharyngolaryngeal stenoses incidence rate in the rRT arm (0 versus 4 %,P=.05). In post-hoc subgroup analyses, rRT improved LRC for patients with N0-1 disease (HR 0.21, 95 %CI 0.05-0.93) and oropharyngeal cancer (0.31, 0.10-0.95), regardless of HPV.

CONCLUSION

Adaptive and dose redistributed radiotherapy enabled dose-escalation with similar toxicity rates compared to conventional radiotherapy. While FDG-PET-guided dose-escalation did overall not lead to significant tumor control or survival improvements, post-hoc results showed improved locoregional control for patients with N0-1 disease or oropharyngeal cancer treated with rRT.

More about this publication

Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
  • Volume 196
  • Pages 110281
  • Publication date 01-07-2024

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