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Randomized phase II study of GM-CSF to reduce mucositis caused by accelerated radiotherapy of laryngeal cancer.

Author(s): McAleese JJ, Bishop KM, A'Hern R, Henk JM

Affiliation(s): Belvoir Park Hospital, Hospital Road, Belfast BT8 8JR.

Publication date & source: 2006-07, Br J Radiol., 79(943):608-13.

Publication type: Clinical Trial, Phase II; Randomized Controlled Trial

Acute mucositis is dose-limiting in many accelerated radiotherapy schedules for head and neck cancer. Cytokines may be one means of reducing the severity of mucositis. A study was designed to assess the effect of subcutaneous molgramostin (granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor; GM-CSF) injections on acute radiation morbidity in patients undergoing accelerated radiotherapy for laryngeal cancer. A prospective, randomized, observer-blind, controlled trial was conducted in 29 patients who were to receive radical radiotherapy over 3 weeks for early stage laryngeal cancer. Patients were randomized to receive 150 microg (approximately 2 microg kg(-1)) GM-CSF subcutaneously once daily for 14 days after the second week of radiotherapy, or no GM-CSF. Patients were assessed weekly for grade of mucositis, skin reactions and related parameters. The severity of mucositis was reduced in the GM-CSF arm (p<0.05). No other end-points reached statistical significance. Two patients failed to complete their courses of GM-CSF. Three developed influenza type symptoms and in one an allergic reaction was noted. There was no difference in tumour control rates. Subcutaneous GM-CSF reduced the severity of mucositis in patients undergoing accelerated radiotherapy. Injections were well tolerated. Further studies of cytokines are warranted, to assess the feasibility of increasing the total doses of accelerated radiotherapy given, with the aim of improving tumour cure rates.

Page last updated: 2006-11-04

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