Timing of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube placement as supportive care in HNSCC patients (Pts) receiving concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CRT).

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date


Publication Title

J Clin Oncol


Background: Concurrent CRT with curative intent is the standard of care treatment for Pts with locally advanced or local recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The CRT is associated with significant toxicities including nausea/vomiting, dysphagia and/or odynophagia, which prevent Pts from tolerating oral hydration and nutrition intakes. Treatment frequently leads to weight loss, renal injury and unexpected emergent care or hospitalizations along with therapy interruptions. This study is to determine the timing of PEG tube placement and its impact on the safety and tolerability from HNSCC patients receiving CRT. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 413 electronic medical records (EMR), of which 335 of HNSCC Pts who had complete EMR during CRT period were included in this study. 127 of these 335 Pts (38%) required no PEG tube placement, 208 (62%) required PEG placement. The timing of PEG placement has been observed as two groups: 1) 109 Pts had PEG tube placement before initiation of CRT (Prophylactic Group PG ); 2) 89 Pts had PEG tube during CRT period in reaction to a serious toxicity event (Reactive Group-RG ). Logistic regressions were used to estimate the effect of PEG timing on Emergency Department (ED) visits, hospitalization, and experiencing treatment interruptions. Results: Our study showed that patients in PG demonstrated 43% less likely on their visiting ED or 42% less likely for hospitalization than Pts of RG with an odds ratio (OR) at 0.396 (95% CI: 0.165∼0.952, p = 0.038) for PG over RG from toxicity-related therapy interruptions. Pts in PG also showed an OR at 0.40 from improving hypoalbuminemia over RG Pts (95% CI: 0.16∼0.64, p = 0.001) which associated with 23% of chance of maintaining pre-CRT body mass index (BMI) for Pts in PG over those in RG Conclusions: We observed the prophylactic PEG tube placement prevented unexpected ER visits and hospitalizations through reducing the risk of malnutrition and dehydration, which improved Pts in PG through the CRT with less therapy interruptions and preserved BMI, especially for those Pts of older age, pre-therapy dysphagia, hypoalbuminemia and receiving cisplatin in CRT.





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