Long-Term, Prospective Performance of the MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory in “Low-Intermediate Risk” Oropharyngeal Carcinoma After Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy

Ryan P. Goepfert, Jan S. Lewin, Martha P. Barrow, G. Brandon Gunn, C. David Fuller, Beth M. Beadle, Adam S. Garden, David I. Rosenthal, Merrill S. Kies, Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou, Stephen Y. Lai, Neil D. Gross, David L. Schwartz, Katherine A. Hutcheson

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37 Scopus citations


Purpose To characterize long-term MD Anderson Dysphagia Inventory (MDADI) results after primary intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC) among patients with “low-intermediate risk” OPC who would be eligible for current trials (eg, ECOG 3311, NRG HN002, CRUK PATHOS). Methods and Materials A retrospective pooled analysis combined data from 3 single-institution clinical trials for advanced-stage head and neck carcinoma. Inclusion criteria were clinical stage III/IV OPC (T1-2/N1-2b, T3/N0-2b) treated with definitive split-field IMRT and prospectively collected MDADI at baseline and at least 1 posttreatment interval available in trial databases. Patients were sampled to represent likely human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated disease (HPV+/p16+ or <10 pack-years if HPV/p16 unknown). The MDADI composite scores were collected at baseline and 6, 12, and 24 months after treatment. Pairwise tests were Bonferroni corrected for multiple comparisons. Results Forty-six patients were included. All received bilateral neck irradiation with a median dose of 70 Gy and systemic therapy (57% concurrent, 43% induction only). Overall the mean baseline MDADI composite score was 90.1, dropping to 74.6 at 6 months (P<.0001) and rising to 78.5 (P<.0001) and 83.1 (P=.002) by 12 and 24 months relative to baseline, respectively, representing a clinically meaningful drop in MDADI scores at 6 months that partially recovers by 24 months (6 vs 24 months, P=.05). Poor MDADI scores (composite <60) were reported in 4%, 11%, 15%, and 9% of patients at baseline and 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively. Fifteen percent of patients had a persistently depressed composite score by at least 20 points at the 24-month interval. Conclusion “Low-intermediate risk” patients with OPC treated with laryngeal/esophageal inlet dose-optimized split-field IMRT are highly likely to report recovery of acceptable swallowing function in long-term follow-up. Only 15% report poor swallowing function and/or persistently depressed MDADI at 12 months or more after IMRT. These data serve as a benchmark future trial design and endpoint interpretation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)700-708
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 15 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research


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