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Comparative Effectiveness and Safety of Radiotherapy Treatments for Head and Neck Cancer

Slide: 18 of 36

Comparative Effectiveness Review: Outcomes of Interest

Primary (health) outcomes included: radiation-induced toxicities; adverse events, both acute and chronic normal tissue toxicity, such as xerostomia, dysphagia, mucositis, skin toxicity, osteoradionecrosis, or bone toxicity; effect on quality of life; and clinical effectiveness, including local and locoregional control, time to any recurrence (disease-free survival), and patient (disease-specific and overall) survival. Secondary (intermediate) outcomes included: salivary flow and probability of completing treatment according to protocol. The greatest emphasis was given to health outcomes directly related to length of life, quality of life, function, symptoms, or harm. Intermediate outcomes that might reflect physiologic processes were considered important to the extent that they were related to health outcomes. The specific primary and secondary outcomes selected here were those for which more than five comparative studies provided data and clinical expert consensus indicated their importance.