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Author Notes:

Gregory J. Kubicek, MD, Department of Radiation Oncology, MD Anderson at Cooper University Hospital, One Cooper Plaza, Camden, NJ 08103, USA. Email: kubicek-gregory@cooperhealth.edu

Gregory J. Kubicek, MD http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9700-1760

The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


Research Funding:

The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


  • CyberKnife
  • head and neck cancer
  • recurrence
  • stereotactic body radiation therapy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Radiosurgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy
  • Treatment Outcome

Stereotactic Body Radiotherapy Treatment for Recurrent, Previously Irradiated Head and Neck Cancer


Journal Title:

Technology in Cancer Research and Treatment


Volume 17


, Pages 1533033818780086-1533033818780086

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


PURPOSE: Locally recurrent, previously irradiated primary head and neck tumors have historically been associated with poor outcomes. Stereotactic body radiation therapy has emerged as a feasible and promising treatment option for tumor recurrence, particularly in nonsurgical candidates. This study aimed to assess the associated outcomes of stereotactic body radiation therapy used in this setting. METHODS: Retrospective analysis of a prospectively collected database of 25 patients treated with CyberKnife for unresectable, recurrent head and neck cancer in a previously irradiated field. The primary end points evaluated were rates of survival, tumor control, and treatment-related toxicities. RESULTS: Median survival of the study population was 7.5 months (range, 1.5-47.0 months). Median survival of the 20 (80%) patients who were treated with curative purpose was 8.3 months. One-year overall survival rate for the entire population was 32%. The respective 1-year and 2-year survival rates for the curative subcohort were 40% and 20%, respectively. Local and locoregional failure occurred in 8 (32%) and 7 (28%) patients, respectively. Low severe acute (4%) and late (6%) treatment-related toxicity rates were observed. No grade 4 or 5 toxicities were observed. CONCLUSION: Stereotactic body radiation therapy is a viable treatment option for patients with unresectable, recurrent head and neck cancer. Significant tumor control rates are achievable with minimal severe toxicity. Although perhaps associated with patient selection and a heterogeneous sample, overall survival of stereotactic body radiation therapy outcomes appears unfavorable.

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© The Author(s) 2018

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
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