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Definitive radiation therapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the soft palate




We report the University of Florida experience with soft-palate carcinoma treated with radiotherapy alone or combined with adjuvant chemotherapy and/or neck dissection for residual disease in the neck.


A total of 145 patients treated with curative intent from 1963 to 2004 were included. Potential follow-up was ≥2 years.


Local control rates at 5 years were: T1, 90%; T2, 91%; T3, 67%; T4, 57%. Nodal control rates at 5 years were: N0, 90%; N1, 82%; N2, 68%; N3, 71%. Ultimate local-regional control rates at 5 years were: stage I, 89%; stage II, 88%; stage III, 96%; stage IVA, 63%; stage IVB, 43%. In multivariate analysis, overall treatment time significantly affected local and ultimate local-regional control, and nodal stage significantly affected overall survival. Overall survival rate at 5 years was 44%. Cause-specific survival rate at 5 years was 73%.


The likelihood of cure after definitive radiotherapy is relatively high and is impacted by disease extent and overall treatment time. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 2008