Perioperative HDR brachytherapy for reirradiation in head and neck recurrences: single-institution experience and systematic review



The aim of our study was to evaluate the outcomes of patients reirradiated with high-dose-rate (HDR) intensity-modulated brachytherapy (IMBT) for recurrent head and neck cancer and to perform a systematic review of the literature.

Materials and methods

Patients treated with prior radiation doses >65 Gy were considered. After resection of macroscopic disease, catheters were fixed to the tumor bed. The total dose was 30 Gy in 12 fractions of 2.5 Gy twice daily for 5 days a week. A systematic literature search was conducted through several electronic databases including Medline/PubMed, Scopus, Embase and the Cochrane library.


Seventeen patients were included; median overall survival was 19 months with a median local control interval of 15 months. Median follow-up was 36 months. Seven papers were considered for the review.


IMBT could play an important role in the retreatment of recurrent head and neck cancer.

Tumori 2017; 103(6): 516 - 524

Article Type: REVIEW



Luca Tagliaferri, Francesco Bussu, Bruno Fionda, Francesco Catucci, Mario Rigante, Maria Antonietta Gambacorta, Rosa Autorino, Gian Carlo Mattiucci, Francesco Miccichè, Elisa Placidi, Mario Balducci, Jacopo Galli, Gaetano Paludetti, György Kovacs, Vincenzo Valentini

Article History


Financial support: None of the authors received financial support in any form to develop this paper.
Conflict of interest: None.

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  • Department of Radiation Oncology, Catholic University, Rome - Italy
  • Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Catholic University, Rome - Italy
  • Physics Institute, Catholic University, Rome - Italy
  • Interdisciplinary Brachytherapy Unit, University of Lübeck and University Hospital S-H, Campus Lübeck, Lübeck - Germany

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