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Indian Journal of Cancer
Medknow Publications on behalf of Indian Cancer Society
ISSN: 0019-509X
EISSN: 1998-4774
Vol. 48, No. 3, 2011, pp. 289-295
Bioline Code: cn11079
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Indian Journal of Cancer, Vol. 48, No. 3, 2011, pp. 289-295

 en Whole saliva physico-biochemical changes and quality of life in head and neck cancer patients following conventional radiation therapy: A prospective longitudinal study
Tiwana, M S.; Mahajan, M K.; Uppal, B; Koshy, G; Sachdeva, J; Lee, H N. & Talole, S D.


Background: We investigated the physico-biochemical changes in saliva and its relation to quality of life (QOL) in head and neck cancer patients following conventional radiation therapy (RT).
Materials and Methods: 53 consecutive head and neck cancer patients underwent conventional RT using telecobalt photons. We analyzed objective sialometry and sialochemical parameters of salivary gland function and a physician reported Oral Assessment Protocol to assess the patients' QOL during (baseline, 3 and 6 weeks) and post RT (3 and 6 months). Statistical analysis was done using SPSS software (version 15.0; SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA).
Results: Stimulated salivary flow rates had shown a consistent decline during and in post-RT analysis (P < 0.001). A significant correlation was seen between mean salivary flow rates at 6 months post-RT and mean salivary electrolytes and amylase levels during the same period (P < 0.001). Mean global QOL scores had significantly worsened during RT and were still significantly poorer at 6 months than initial pre-RT levels (P < 0.001). Further, significant correlation was established between salivary pH values with global QOL scores at 6 months (P = 0.05).
Conclusions: Radiation-induced hyposalivation invariably persists and correlates with poor global QOL scores seen during and following conventional RT. Post RT, there is a trend for biochemical reversal toward pre-irradiation levels suggesting a subsiding inflammation or a probable functional recovery.

Head-neck cancer, quality of life, radiation therapy, saliva, xerostomia

© Copyright 2011 Indian Journal of Cancer.
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