Philip Poortmans, MD, PhD
Philip Poortmans, MD, PhD, President-Elect of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) and Head of the Radiation Oncology Department at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, commented: “This research provides good evidence for the benefits of treating advanced-stage head and neck cancer patients with a combination of twice-daily radiation therapy and chemotherapy, compared to one or even none of these separately. Before we can apply these very interesting results into daily clinical practice, we need to wait for the outcome of the next stage of this research—namely the evaluation of the short- and long-term side effects. This is of utmost importance for the quality of life of the patients and their relatives.
“Moreover, it would be preferable to perform prospective trials to confirm these results,” he continued. “If that is not feasible, or if we cannot wait for their outcome for some subgroups of patients who have the worst survival currently, then we should at least register carefully all the outcome parameters in prospective multicenter databases so that they are available later on for analysis.” ■
The method we used—network meta-analysis—which combines direct and indirect treatment comparisons, is a new method that needs to be interpreted with prudence.— Claire Petit, PhD
Treating patients with head and neck cancer with hyperfractionated twice-daily radiation therapy combined with ...