• 6/23/2008
  • web-based article
  • Erik P Sulman et al.
  • Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys, June 13, 2008

Purpose:
Institutional and cooperative group experience has demonstrated the feasibility of reirradiation for head and neck cancer. Limited data are available regarding the use of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for this indication. We reviewed our initial experience using IMRT for previously irradiated head and neck cancer patients.

Methods and Materials:
Records of 78 consecutive patients reirradiated with IMRT for head and neck cancer between 1999 and 2004 were reviewed; 74 cases were analyzed. Reirradiation was defined as any overlap between original and new radiation treatment volumes regardless of the time interval between initial and subsequent treatment. Severe reirradiation-related toxicity was defined as toxic events resulting in hospitalization, corrective surgery, or patient death. Longitudinal estimates of survival were calculated by Kaplan-Meier technique.

Results:
Twenty (27%) patients underwent salvage surgical resection and 36 (49%) patients received chemotherapy. Median follow-up from reirradiation was 25 months. Median time interval between initial radiation and reirradiation was 46 months. Median reirradiation dose was 60 Gy. Median lifetime radiation dose was 116.1 Gy. The 2-year overall survival and locoregional control rates were 58% and 64%, respectively. Severe reirradiation related toxicity occurred in 15 patients (20%); one treatment-related death was observed.

Conclusions:
The use of IMRT for reirradiation of recurrent or second primary head and neck cancers resulted in encouraging local control and survival. Reirradiation-related morbidity was significant, but may be less severe than previously published reports using conventional techniques.

Authors:
Erik P Sulman, David L Schwartz, Thuy T Le, K Kian Ang, William H Morrison, David I Rosenthal, Anesa Ahamad, Merril Kies, Bonnie Glisson, Randal Weber, and Adam S Garden

Authors’ affiliation:
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

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