Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Swallowing exercises preserve function in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation

Date:
August 29, 2013
Source:
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Summary:
A study has found that head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation as part of their treatment were less likely to suffer unwanted side effects such as worsening of diet, need for a feeding tube, or narrowing of the throat passage if they complied with a set of prescribed swallowing exercises.

A study from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC) has found that head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation as part of their treatment were less likely to suffer unwanted side effects such as worsening of diet, need for a feeding tube, or narrowing of the throat passage if they complied with a set of prescribed swallowing exercises called a swallow preservation protocol (SPP) during therapy.

The five-year study was led by Dr. Marilene Wang, JCCC member, professor-in-residence in the department of head and neck surgery, UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. The study was published online ahead of print in the journal Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery on August 27, 2013.

Surgery and radiation (RT) have been the traditional treatments for head and neck cancer but with the advent of improved and targeted chemotherapy many types of this disease are treated with chemotherapy and radiation (chemoradiation or CRT) in the hope of preserving the tissue and structure. Despite the sparing of critical tissue, preservation does not always translate to normal, natural swallowing ability.

Most patients who receive CRT have significant side effects during treatment and for a long time after recovery. Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) is one of the most common unwanted side effects of RT and CRT, and is one of the main predictors of decreased patient quality of life after treatment.

Wang's study was designed to evaluate the SPP, in which patients had swallow therapy before, during and after radiation treatment. The effectiveness of the SPP was measured by patients' continued ability to swallow and how that affected their diets, whether they needed a feeding tube, or whether they developed narrowing of the throat (stenosis), compared with a group of patients who were not compliant with the SPP.

Study participants had assessments made by Wang's team of their swallowing ability two weeks before their treatment, including education about their cancer and what side effects they could expect and an introduction of the swallowing exercise program. The exercises were designed to maintain the range of motion of mouth and neck muscles involved in swallowing and to counter the formation of excess tissue caused by the radiation (radiation fibrosis), which contributes to loss of swallowing ability. Compliance to the SPP was by patient self-reporting at weekly visits to UCLA.

Among 85 participants from 2007 to 2012, 57 were deemed compliant with the SPP and 28 were non-compliant. They ranged in age from 22 to 91 years old and there were more males (66) than females (19). Swallow preservation exercises before and during radiation treatment appeared to maintain patient's ability to swallow. Patients who were compliant with the SPP had a faster return to normal diet and prevented throat stenosis.

"Our results demonstrate that compliance with swallow therapy during radiation or chemoradiation treatment is beneficial to patients' retaining their ability to swallow after treatment is over," said Wang. "The real benefit of this compliance is that patients benefit immediately after treatment, and for a prolonged time afterward. Attending our weekly program, fully committing to the exercises and being monitored by our staff appears to have a significantly measurable effect for these patients."

This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has more than 240 researchers and clinicians engaged in disease research, prevention, detection, control, treatment and education. One of the nation's largest comprehensive cancer centers, the Jonsson center is dedicated to promoting research and translating basic science into leading-edge clinical studies. In July 2013, the Jonsson Cancer Center was named among the top 12 cancer centers nationwide by U.S. News & World Report, a ranking it has held for 14 consecutive years. For more information on the Jonsson Cancer Center, visit our website at http://www.cancer.ucla.edu.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. V. M. Duarte, D. K. Chhetri, Y. F. Liu, A. A. Erman, M. B. Wang. Swallow Preservation Exercises during Chemoradiation Therapy Maintains Swallow Function. Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery, 2013; DOI: 10.1177/0194599813502310

Cite This Page:

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Swallowing exercises preserve function in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829214300.htm>.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. (2013, August 29). Swallowing exercises preserve function in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829214300.htm
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Swallowing exercises preserve function in head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130829214300.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

How The 'Angelina Jolie Effect' Increased Cancer Screenings

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) Angelina's Jolie's decision to undergo a preventative mastectomy in 2013 inspired many women to seek early screenings for the disease. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins