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Cancer Treat Rev. 2003 Feb;29(1):21-30.

Reirradiation of recurrent and second primary head and neck malignancies: a comprehensive review.

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Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


The management of locoregionally recurrent or second primary tumors in a previously irradiated head and neck volume presents a challenging clinical problem. Only a small subset of patients are candidates for potentially curative surgery. Chemotherapy alone provides only limited palliation with no long term survivors. Reirradiation, particularly with aggressive concomitant chemotherapy, results in prolonged median survival and long term survival for some patients. The toxicity of reirradiation, while greater than chemotherapy alone or primary irradiation, is lower than expected for the high cumulative radiation doses. The results of reirradiation in recurrent head and neck cancer and the prognostic factors predicting outcome in this patient population are reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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