Background and purpose Oropharyngeal mycosis (OPM) is a complication of radiotherapy (RT) treatments for head and neck (H&N) cancer, worsening mucositis and dysphagia, causing treatment interruptions and increasing overall treatment time. Prophylaxis with antifungals is expensive. Better patient selection through the analysis of prognostic factors should improve treatment efficacy and reduce costs. Materials and methods A multicentre, prospective, controlled longitudinal study, with ethics committee approval, examined H&N cancer patients who were candidates for curative treatments with radio-chemotherapy. Patients were divided in groups according to OPM appearance: before the starting of RT (cases), during RT (new cases) and never (no cases). Results Of 410 evaluable patients, 20 were existing cases, 201 new cases and 189 did not report OPM. In our study OPM appears in 42.4% of people >70 years and in 58.2% of younger individuals (p = 0.0042), and in 68.6% of women versus 50.8% of men (p = 0.0069). Mucositis and dysphagia were higher and salivation reduced among people with OPM (p <0.0000). Patients with OPM had longer hospitalization (p = 0.0002) and longer (>12 days) treatment interruptions (p = 0.0288). Conclusions Patients with OPM had higher toxicity and a greater number of long treatment interruptions. Analyses of prognostic factors can help clinicians understand OPM distribution and select patients with the highest probability of OPM for antifungal prophylaxis.
- Head & Neck
- Predictive factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging