Reirradiation with intensity-modulated radiotherapy in recurrent head and neck cancer

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Abstract

Background.

In this retrospective investigation we analyzed outcome and toxicity after intensity-modulated reirradiation of recurrent head and neck cancer.

Methods.

Thirty-eight patients with local recurrent head and neck cancer were evaluated. The median dose of initial radiotherapy was 61 Gy. Reirradiation was carried out with step-and-shoot intensity-modulated radiotherapy (median dose: 49 Gy).

Results.

Median overall survival was 17 months, and the 1- and 2-year overall survival rates were 63% and 34%. The 1- and 2-year local control rates were 57% and 53%. Distant spread occurred in 34%, and reirradiation induced considerable late toxicity in 21% of the patients. Thirty-two percent showed increased xerostomia after reirradiation. The risk for xerostomia was significantly higher for cumulative mean doses of ≥45 Gy to parotid glands. Considering median cumulative maximum doses of 53 Gy to the spinal cord and 63 Gy to the brainstem, no late toxicities were observed.

Conclusions.

Reirradiation with intensity-modulated radiotherapy in recurrent head and neck cancer is feasible with acceptable toxicity and yields encouraging rates of local control and overall survival. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2011

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