Do selective radiation dose escalation and tumour hypoxia status impact the loco-regional tumour control after radio-chemotherapy of head & neck tumours? The ESCALOX protocol

Steffi U. Pigorsch, Jan J. Wilkens, Severin Kampfer, Victoria Kehl, Alexander Hapfelmeier, Christian Schläger, Henning Bier, Markus Schwaiger, Stephanie E. Combs

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28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Standard of care primary treatment of carcinoma of locally advanced squamous cell head and neck cancer (LAHNSCC) consists of platinum-based concomitant chemo-irradiation. Despite progress in the treatment of LAHNSCC using modern radiotherapy techniques the outcome remains still poor. Using IMRT with SIB the escalation of total dose to the GTV is possible with the aim to improve clinical outcome. This study tests the hypothesis if radiation dose escalation to the GTV improves 2-year-LRC and -OS after concomitant chemo-irradiation. Methods: The ESCALOX trial is a prospective randomized phase III study using cisplatin chemo-irradiation and the SIB-IMRT concept in patients with LAHNSCC of the oral cavity, oropharynx or hypopharynx to escalate the total dose to the GTV up to 80.5 Gy. Chemotherapy is planned either in the 1st and 5th week (cisplatin 20 mg/m2/d d 1-5 and d 29-33) or weekly (cisplatin 40 mg/m2/d) during RT. RT is delivered as SIB with total doses of 80.5 Gy/70.0 Gy/56.0 Gy with 2.3 Gy/2.0 Gy and 1.6 Gy in the experimental arm and in the control arm with 70.0 Gy/56.0 Gy with 2.0 Gy and 1.6 Gy. A pre-study with dose escalation up to 77.0 Gy/70.0 Gy/56.0 Gy with 2.2 Gy/2.0 Gy and 1.6 Gy is demanded by the German federal office of radiation protection (BfS). In the translational part of the trial 100 of the randomised patients will be investigated by 18-F-FMiso-PET-CT for the presence and behaviour of tumor hypoxia twice in the week before treatment start. Discussion: The primary endpoint of the pre-study is acute radiation induced toxicity. Primary endpoint of the main trial is 2-year-LRC. By using the dose escalation up to 80.5 Gy to the GTV of the primary tumor and lymph nodes > 2 cm a LRC benefit of 15% at 2 years should be expected. The ESCALOX trial is supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG); Grant No.: MO-363/4-1. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT 01212354 , EudraCT-No.:

Original languageEnglish
Article number45
JournalRadiation Oncology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Chemo-irradiation
  • Dose escalation
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Randomized prospective trial

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