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Radiat Oncol. 2010 Jun 9;5:51. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-5-51.

Stereotactic radiosurgery may contribute to overall survival for patients with recurrent head and neck carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Tsurumi University, School of Dental Medicine, 2-1-3 Tsurumi, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, 230-8501, Japan.



The aim of this study is to examine the effect of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) in the treatment of advanced, recurrent lesions for head and neck carcinoma both with and without lymph node involvement.


Between April 2006 and July 2007, 22 patients (mean age 67 years) with advanced, recurrent head and neck carcinoma were treated with stereotactic radiosurgery. All of the patients except one had biopsy confirmed disease prior to stereotactic radiosurgery. Patients included 3 rT2, 8 rT3, and 9 rT4; 8 of the patients had lymph node metastases. Marginal SRS doses were 20-42 Gy delivered in two to five fractions. Starting one month after SRS, all patients received S-1 oral chemotherapy for one year.


At an overall median follow-up of 24 months (range, 4-39 months), for the 14 locally recurrent patients without lymph node metastases, 9 patients (64.3%) had a complete response (CR), 1 patient (7.1%) had a partial response (PR), 1 patient (7.1%) had stable disease (SD), and 3 patients (21.4%) had progressive disease (PD). For the 8 patients with lymph node metastases, 1 patient with a single retropharyngeal (12.5%) had CR; the remaining 7 patients (87.5%) all progressed. Nine patients have died from their cancer. The overall actuarial 2-year survival for the patients with and without lymph node metastases is 12.5% and 78.6%, respectively.


These results show the benefit of stereotactic radiosurgery salvage treatment for advanced, recurrent lesions, without lymph node metastases in previously irradiated head and neck cancer.

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