Standard treatment for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC) is concomitant chemoradiotherapy. The survival benefit of combined treatment is partially counterbalanced by an increased rate of acute esophageal toxicity. Several pharmaceutical products are available for prevention and management of esophagitis, including Faringel Plus.
To assess the incidence and the grade, identify the correlations with clinical, dosimetric, and therapeutic variables, and analyse the role of Faringel Plus as a pharmaceutical preventive measure against acute esophageal toxicity.
Patients with LA-NSCLC treated with concomitant radiochemotherapy were retrospectively reviewed. Acute esophagitis and dysphagia were graded according to Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events version 5.0. Clinical, dosimetric, and therapeutic correlations were investigated using χ test.
Among the 23 analysed patients, 18 (78.3%) and 1 (4.3%) developed G2 and G3 esophagitis, respectively; G1-2 dysphagia were reported in 11 cases (47.8%). No statistically significant correlation between the variables considered and acute esophageal toxicity was identified. In the group of patients who received Faringel Plus as preventive treatment (10 subjects, 43.5%), dysphagia presentation time was significantly longer ( = 0.038); esophagitis onset time was longer and symptoms duration was shorter. Faringel Plus allowed a reduction in the use of analgesic drugs.
Acute mild esophageal toxicity was confirmed to be a common side effect in this setting. No clinical-dosimetric parameter has been demonstrated to be effective in predicting acute esophageal toxicity. The use of Faringel Plus appears effective as a therapeutic and prophylactic tool to manage acute esophageal toxicity.