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Oral Oncol. 2009 Apr-May;45(4-5):402-8. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2009.01.010. Epub 2009 Apr 16.

Current concepts of management in radiotherapy for head and neck squamous-cell cancer.

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  • 1Department of Radiotherapy, Institute Gustave-Roussy, 39 Rue Camille-Desmoulins, Villejuif 94805, France.


Radiotherapy plays a key role in the management of early stage and locally advanced head and neck squamous-cell carcinomas (HNSCC) either alone or, more frequently combined with surgery and/or chemotherapy. Several approaches have been developed to improve its efficacy while maintaining acceptable toxicities, such as altered fractionated radiotherapy or concomitant chemoradiotherapy which have both improved the anti-tumor efficacy of radiotherapy. Of particular interest is concomitant chemoradiotherapy (CT-RT) which is the most commonly used approach in locally advanced disease. Taxanes and platinum-based induction chemotherapy could constitute an option in the treatment of locally advanced HNSCC and it's contribution before concomitant RT-CT is currently under investigation. More recently, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFr) molecular targeting with cetuximab combined with radiotherapy has been successfully tested in a large randomized trial and this combination constitutes a new option, especially for patients with medical co-morbidities. Finally management of treatment related acute or late toxicity remains an important issue and in the last decade major achievements have been obtained in this field especially using intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).

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