Outcomes following reirradiation of patients with heap and neck cancer

David P. Goldstein, Lucy Hynds Karnell, Min Yao, G. Parker Chamberlin, Thanh X. Nguyen, Gerry F. Funk

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28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background. This study reports the outcomes tor patients with head and neck cancer who received reirradiation with palliative or curative intent. Methods. A retrospective review of 41 patients treated with curative (n = 28) or palliative (n = 13) reirradiation was conducted. Survival was calculated from the start of the reirradiation. Radiation-related toxicities were classified according to Radiation Therapy Oncology Group criteria. Disease-related problems included adverse events during or after reirradiation that were not directly related to reirradiation. Results. The observed 1-year survival for all patients was 39.0% (23.0% palliative, 46.3% curative). Median survival for all patients was 10.2 months. Seventy-five percent of curative and 53.8% of palliative patients had grade 3 or 4 radiation-related toxicities and/or major disease-related problems. Conclusion. A second course of radiotherapy in patients with head and neck cancer should be offered with a clear understanding that survival is poor and many of these patients will suffer severe radiation-related or disease-related insults to their quality of life during and after treatment.

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