High serum superoxide dismutase activity improves radiation-related quality of life in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
Keywords:Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Superoxide Dismutase, Radiation Pneumonitis, Leukopenia, Thrombocytopenia, Cohort Studies
OBJECTIVES: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most common malignant tumors in China. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy and volume-modulated arc therapy have become the main treatments for esophageal carcinoma; however, side effects caused by radiotherapy greatly impact the quality of life in these patients. This study aimed to explore the impact of serum superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels on the prognosis of patients with ESCC undergoing radiotherapy. METHODS: Patients aged between 18 and 80 years with lower-middle ESCC who underwent radiotherapy were eligible for this assessment. Adverse events, responses, treatment outcomes, and overall survival (OS) were assessed. Between 2012 and 2014, 195 patients were enrolled, of which 65 were assigned to the low- and highSOD groups based on their serum SOD values. RESULTS: The baseline characteristics were similar between the two groups, except for the T staging. Adverse events in the low-SOD group were significantly higher than those in the high-SOD group (radiation esophagitis, p=0.007; radiation pneumonitis, p=0.032; leukopenia, p=0.023; thrombocytopenia, p=0.037; anemia, p=0.041). There were no significant differences in response, treatment outcomes, or OS. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, high serum SOD activity improved post-radiotherapy quality of life but did not impact the prognosis of patients with ESCC. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report that serum SOD activity is associated with radiation-induced toxicity and moderately increased radiotherapeutic response in patients with ESCC undergoing radiotherapy.