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Head Neck. 2017 Mar;39(3):595-601. doi: 10.1002/hed.24633. Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Stereotactic body radiotherapy for recurrent head and neck cancer: A critical review.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Montefiore Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York.


The management of patients with recurrent head and neck cancers remains a challenging clinical dilemma. Concerns over toxicity with re-irradiation have limited its use in the clinical setting. Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy (SBRT) has emerged as a highly conformal and precise type of radiotherapy and has the advantage of sparing normal tissue. Although SBRT is an attractive treatment modality, its use in the clinic is limited, given the technically challenging nature of the procedure. In this review, we attempt to provide a comprehensive overview of the role of re-irradiation in patients with recurrent head and neck cancers, with particular attention to the advent of SBRT and its use with systemic therapies such as cetuximab. In the second portion of this review, we present our systematic review of published experiences with SBRT in recurrent head and neck cancers in an attempt to provide data on response rates (RR), overall survival and toxicity.


carotid blowout; cetuximab; recurrent head and neck cancer; reirradiation; stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)

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