Few studies have evaluated the use of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity (OC). We report clinical outcomes and failure patterns for these patients.Between October 2002 and June 2009, 37 patients with newly diagnosed SCC of the OC underwent postoperative (30) or definitive (7) IMRT. Twenty-five patients (66%) received systemic therapy. The median follow-up was 38 months (range, 10-87 months). The median interval from surgery to RT was 5.9 weeks (range, 2.1-10.7 weeks).Thirteen patients experienced local-regional failure at a median of 8.1 months (range, 2.4-31.9 months), and 2 additional patients experienced local recurrence between surgery and RT. Seven local failures occurred in-field (one with simultaneous nodal and distant disease) and two at the margin. Four regional failures occurred, two in-field and two out-of-field, one with synchronous metastases. Six patients experienced distant failure. The 3-year actuarial estimates of local control, local-regional control, freedom from distant metastasis, and overall survival were 67%, 53%, 81%, and 60% among postoperative patients, respectively, and 60%, 60%, 71%, and 57% among definitive patients. Four patients developed Grade = 2 chronic toxicity. Increased surgery to RT interval predicted for decreased LRC (p = 0.04).Local-regional control for SCC of the OC treated with IMRT with or without surgery remains unsatisfactory. Definitive and postoperative IMRT have favorable toxicity profiles. A surgery-to-RT interval of < 6 weeks improves local-regional control. The predominant failure pattern was local, suggesting that both improvements in target delineation and radiosensitization and/or dose escalation are needed.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.04.031
View details for PubMedID 20675073