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)

Anna Liza M.P. de Leeuw*, Jordi Giralt, Yungan Tao, Sergi Benavente, Thanh Vân France Nguyen, Frank J.P. Hoebers, Ann Hoeben, Chris H.J. Terhaard, Lip Wai Lee, Signe Friesland, Roel J.H.M. Steenbakkers, Lisa Tans, Jolien Heukelom, Mutamba T. Kayembe, Simon R. van Kranen, Harry Bartelink, Coen R.N. Rasch, Jan Jakob Sonke, Olga Hamming-Vrieze*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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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 10th fraction (rRT) or conventional 70 Gy/35 fractions (cRT). Both arms received concurrent three-cycle 100 mg/m2 cisplatin. 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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110281
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Volume196
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Elsevier B.V.

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