Reirradiation of recurrent head and neck cancers



Ninety-nine patients with recurrent cancers of the head and neck region were treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or combination therapy. The follow-up period ranged from 18 months to 18 years. An initial overall complete response rate of 67% and a partial response rate of 7% (overall response rate –- 74%) were achieved. The eventual tumor control rate was 15%. Although equal initial response rates were achieved in recurrences at the primary site and the cervical nodes, the eventual local control was better for the former (21% vs. 10%). Patients receiving less than 5,000 rad had radiotherapy had a 44% complete response and an 11% eventual tumor control. Patients receiving over 5,000 rad had an 80% complete response and a 25% eventual tumor control.