To report on the late toxicity and local control (LC) of head and neck cancer patients treated with adaptive FDG-PET/CT response-guided radiotherapy (ADMIRE) with dose escalation (NCT03376386).
Between December 2017 and April 2019, 20 patients with stage II-IV squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx, hypopharynx or oropharynx were treated within the ADMIRE study where FDG-PET/CT response-guided (Week 2&4) dose escalation was applied (total dose 70-78 Gy). Cisplatin or cetuximab was added to radiotherapy in case of T3-4 and/or N2c disease. To compare the LC and late toxicity of the study population, we used an external control group (n = 67) consisting of all eligible patients for the study (but not participated). These patients were treated in our institution during the same period with the current standard of 70 Gy radiotherapy. To reduce the effect of confounding, logistic regression analyses was done using stabilized inverse probability of treatment weighting (SIPTW).
Given the comparable LC rates with increased late toxicity in the ADMIRE group, selection criteria for future adaptive dose escalation trials (preferably randomized) need to be refined to include only patients at higher risk of local failure and/or lower risk of severe late toxicity.
After median follow-up of 40 and 43 months for the ADMIRE and control groups, the 3-year LC-rates were 74% and 78%, respectively (adjusted HR after SIPTW 0.80, 95 %CI 0.25-2.52, p = 0.70). The incidences of any late G3 toxicity were 35% and 18%, respectively. The adjusted OR for any late G3 toxicity was 5.09 (95 %CI 1.64-15.8, p = 0.005), for any late G ≥ 2 toxicity was 3.67 (95 %CI 1.2-11.7, p = 0.02), for persistent laryngeal edema was 10.95 (95% CI 2.71-44.29, p = 0.001), for persistent mucosal ulcers was 4.67 (95% CI 1.23-17.7, p = 0.023), and for late G3 radionecrosis was 15.69 (95 %CI 2.43-101.39, p = 0.004).