The aim of this study was to evaluate the outcome and complications of low-dose-rate brachytherapy (LDR-BT) for oral cancer according to comorbidity.
The records of a total of 180 patients who received LDR-BT for T1-2N0M0 oral cancers between January 2005 and December 2007 were analysed. The comorbidities of the patients were retrospectively graded according to the Adult Comorbidity Evaluation-27, and the relationships between the comorbidity grades and survival, disease control and the incidence of complications were analysed.
The 2 year overall survival rates of patients with no comorbidity, Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 comorbidity were 87%, 85%, 76% and 65%, respectively, and the reduction in the survival rate according to comorbid severity was significant in a univariate analysis (p = 0.032) but not in a multivariate analysis including other clinical factors. Cause-specific survival, locoregional control and local control were not related to the comorbidity grade, or any other clinical factors. Grade 2 or 3 complications developed in 27% of the patients. The incidence of complications was unrelated to the comorbidity grade.
The disease control of oral cancer and the incidence of complications after LDR-BT were not related to comorbid severity. LDR-BT is a useful and safe treatment for patients regardless of the presence of severe comorbidity.