Radiotherapy and Oncology vol:93 issue:3 pages:498-502
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the incidence and localization of regional recurrences after definitive (chemo-) radiotherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). METHODS: From May 1987 to March 2008, 368 patients with advanced HNSCC were irradiated to 66-80.5 Gray in 6-7 weeks, with (37%) or without (63%) concomitant chemotherapy (Cisplatinum 100mg/m(2)) every 3 weeks. No planned neck dissections were performed. Data on clinical outcome were retrospectively reviewed, location of the original nodal disease and the regional recurrence was indicated on imaging and correlated with radiation dose. RESULTS: Mean follow-up was 34 months (range: 50 days-216 months). Three-year overall survival and disease-specific survival were 55% and 62%, respectively. Loco-regional, local and regional controls were 58%, 65%, and 80%, respectively. Forty-one patients (11.1%) relapsed in the neck, but only 11 patients (2.99%) developed a true isolated regional recurrence, 6 of whom could be successfully salvaged by surgery. Only 2 patients (0.54%) developed an isolated recurrence in the electively treated nodal levels. CONCLUSION: Isolated nodal recurrences are uncommon and recurrences in the electively treated neck are extremely uncommon.