Tolerance of Chemoradiation in Advanced Head and Neck Cancers: Comparison Between Inpatients and Outpatients

  • Virender Suhag
  • B. S. SunitaEmail author
  • Pankaj Vats
  • N. Chakravarty
  • Tejas Pandya
  • Nishant Lohia
Original Article


Concurrent chemoradiation (CCRT) is the mainstay of treatment for majority of locally advanced head and neck carcinomas (LAHNC). Addition of chemotherapy to radiotherapy increases the probability of local control and improved disease-free survival but at the cost of acute and delayed toxicities. A retrospective observational study. To compare the tolerance of CCRT and its toxicity profile amongst two groups, first arm (Arm A) being outdoor patients and the second group (Arm B) was hospitalized patients of LAHNC in an oncology centre of a tertiary care hospital. A total of 100 patients were enrolled, 50 in each arm. Overall, the most common site was oropharynx, followed by larynx and hypopharynx. 38 patients in Arm A received full 6 cycles of weekly chemotherapy with Inj Cisplatin infusion. 39 of the hospitalized patients completed 6 cycles of weekly Cisplatin, 04 patients also received 3 weekly Cisplatin. Average duration of treatment was 49.18 days in arm A and 50.92 days in arm B. Incidence of Grade II onwards dysphagia was 48 and 45 (96 and 90%) in Arm A and Arm B respectively; Chi Square value—0.6 (Yate’s corrected); P value—0.43. Grade III oral mucositis was seen in 14% patients in Arm A and 34% patients in Arm B. 3 patients (6%) in Arm A and 14 patients (28%) in Arm B has Grade II and III hematological toxicities and nephrological toxicities. Aspiration pneumonia was seen in 2 patients (4%) in Arm A and in 4 patients (8%) in Arm B, Chi Square value—0.2 (Yate’s corrected) P value—0.67. The incidence of febrile neutropenia was 3 and 10 in Arms A and B (6 and 20%) respectively. The tolerance of CCRT in hospitalized patients is marginally better, with relatively few associated complications as compared to outdoor setting. Every institute should promulgate its own guidelines regarding hospitalization of such patients.


Head and neck cancer Chemoradiation Toxicities Outpatient Hospitalization 



The authors will like to thank Lt Col (Dr) Yadu Vir Singh MD (Community Medicine), PGD Epidemiology (PHFI) for his support in editing the manuscript and in providing statistical inputs.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

There is no conflict of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed Consent

All patients were treated by the standard of care as per international guidelines and written informed consent was taken from all participants.


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Copyright information

© Association of Otolaryngologists of India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Virender Suhag
    • 1
  • B. S. Sunita
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pankaj Vats
    • 1
  • N. Chakravarty
    • 1
  • Tejas Pandya
    • 1
  • Nishant Lohia
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyArmy Hospital (R&R)DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of PathologyArmy Hospital (R&R)DelhiIndia

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