ROLE OF POSTOPERATIVE IRRADIATION FOR PATIENTS WITH BILATERAL CERVICAL NODAL METASTASES FROM CUTANEOUS MELANOMA: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT


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Abstract

BackgroundThe aim of this study was to evaluate the role of regional nodal radiation therapy (RT) for patients with bilateral cervical nodal metastases from melanoma.MethodsBetween 1998 and 2008, 16 patients with bilateral cervical metastases without distant metastases were treated with postoperative RT (30 Gy in 5 fractions delivered twice weekly).ResultsMedian follow-up was 5 months (range, 1–34 months). Median survival was 9 months (95% confidence interval [CI], 0–23 months). Overall survival was 68%, 50%, and 27% at 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively. Regional nodal control was 74% and 64% at 6 and 12 months, respectively. Rates of development of distant metastasis were 60%, 70%, and 90% at 6, 12, and 18 months, respectively. The actuarial rate of RT-related complications was 49% at 12 months.ConclusionThe limited life expectancy of patients observed with this disease combined with the high rate of RT-related complications argue against the routine use of adjuvant RT for regional nodal disease in this setting. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2010

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