J Cancer 2017; 8(5):832-838. doi:10.7150/jca.17458

Research Paper

Vicious circle of acute radiation toxicities and weight loss predicts poor prognosis for nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients receiving intensity modulated radiotherapy

Guo Li1,2,3, Xiong-ying Jiang2,4, Bo Qiu2,3, Lu-Jun Shen2,3, Chen Chen2,3, Yun-Fei Xia2,3✉

1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Center of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510095, P. R. China;
2. State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510060, P. R. China;
3. Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510060, P. R. China;
4. Department of Interventional Radiology, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510120, P. R. China.

Abstract

Background: Weight loss during radiotherapy has been known as a negative prognostic factor for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients, but the factors related to weight loss during radiotherapy were not fully understood.

Methods: A total of 322 newly diagnosed NPC patients receiving intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center between June 2002 and August 2006 were enrolled. Kaplan-Meier methods and log-rank test were applied for survival analysis; a multiple regression was used to identify the factors related to weight loss during radiotherapy.

Results: The mean and median values of weight loss (%) during radiotherapy were 6.85% and 6.70%. NPC patients with critical weight loss (> 5.4%) have poorer overall survival (OS) and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) than the patients without critical weight loss (p = 0.002 and 0.021, respectively). Pre-radiotherapy weight, acute mucosal toxicity, acute pharynx and esophagus toxicity, and acute upper gastrointestinal toxicity were related to the weight loss during radiotherapy independently (p = 0.01, p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p = 0.009, respectively).

Conclusions: Acute radiation toxicities had significant and independent impact on weight loss during radiotherapy. The vicious circle of acute radiation toxicities and weight loss had bad effect on prognosis of NPC patients.

Keywords: Weight loss, Acute radiation toxicities, Prognosis, Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Intensity modulated radiotherapy

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How to cite this article:
Li G, Jiang Xy, Qiu B, Shen LJ, Chen C, Xia YF. Vicious circle of acute radiation toxicities and weight loss predicts poor prognosis for nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients receiving intensity modulated radiotherapy. J Cancer 2017; 8(5):832-838. doi:10.7150/jca.17458. Available from http://www.jcancer.org/v08p0832.htm