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

Tumori 2017; 103(6): 516 - 524

Article Type: REVIEW



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



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.

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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