To review our 15-year institutional experience using intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) to reirradiate patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) and identify predictors of outcomes and toxicity.We retrospectively reviewed the records of 227 patients who received head and neck reirradiation using IMRT from 1999 to 2014. Patients treated with noncurative intent were excluded. Radiation-related acute and late toxicities were recorded. Prognostic variables included performance status, disease site, disease-free interval, chemotherapy, and RT dose and volume. Correlative analyses were performed separately for surgery and nonsurgery patients.Two hundred six patients (91%) were retreated with curative intent, and 173 had HNSCC histology; 104 (50%) underwent salvage resection, and 135 (66%) received chemotherapy. Median follow-up after reirradiation was 24.7 months. Clinical outcomes were worse for HNSCC patients, with 5-year locoregional control, progression-free survival, and overall survival rates of 53%, 22%, and 32%, respectively, compared with 74%, 59%, and 79%, respectively, for non-HNSCC patients. On multivariate analysis, concurrent chemotherapy and retreatment site were associated with tumor control, whereas performance status was associated with survival. Favorable prognostic factors specific to surgery patients were neck retreatment and lack of extracapsular extension, whereas for nonsurgery patients, these were a nasopharynx subsite and complete response to induction chemotherapy. Actuarial rates of grade =3 toxicity were 32% at 2 years and 48% at 5 years, with dysphagia or odynophagia being most common. Increased grade =3 toxicity was associated with retreatment volume >50 cm(3) and concurrent chemotherapy.Reirradiation with IMRT either definitively or after salvage surgery can produce promising local control and survival in selected patients with head and neck cancers. Treatment-related toxicity remains significant. Prognostic factors are emerging to guide multidisciplinary treatment approaches and clinical trial design.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.03.015
View details for PubMedID 27354127