Selective use of postoperative neck radiotherapy in oral cavity and oropharynx cancer: a prospective clinical study
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AuthorMartínez Carrillo, Miguel; Tovar Martín, María Isabel; Martínez Lara, Ildefonso; Ruiz De Almodóvar Rivera, José Mariano; Moral Ávila, Rosario del
Oral cavity and oropharynx cancerPostoperative radiotherapySelective neck irradiationLymph node
Martínez Carrillo, M.; et al. Selective use of postoperative neck radiotherapy in oral cavity and oropharynx cancer: a prospective clinical study. Radiation Oncology, 8: 103 (2013). [http://hdl.handle.net/10481/29890]
SponsorshipThis work was supported, in part, by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Health Andalusian Authority PI-SAS-209/04.
Background: In cervical postoperative radiotherapy, the target volume is usually the same as the extension of the previous dissection. We evaluated a protocol of selective irradiation according to the risk estimated for each dissected lymph node level. Methods: Eighty patients with oral/oropharyngeal cancer were included in this prospective clinical study between 2005 and 2008. Patients underwent surgery of the primary tumor and cervical dissection, with identification of positive nodal levels, followed by selective postoperative radiotherapy. Three types of selective nodal clinical target volume (CTV) were defined: CTV0, CTV1, and CTV2, with a subclinical disease risk of < 10%, 10-25%, and 25% and a prescribed radiation dose of < 35 Gy, 50 Gy, and 66-70 Gy, respectively. The localization of node failure was categorized as field, marginal, or outside the irradiated field. Results: A consistent pattern of cervical infiltration was observed in 97% of positive dissections. Lymph node failure occurred within a high-risk irradiated area (CTV1-CTV2) in 12 patients, marginal area (CTV1/CTVO) in 1 patient, and non-irradiated low-risk area (CTV0) in 2 patients. The volume of selective lymph node irradiation was below the standard radiation volume in 33 patients (mean of 118.6 cc per patient). This decrease in irradiated volume was associated with greater treatment compliance and reduced secondary toxicity. The three-year actuarial nodal control rate was 80%. Conclusion: This selective postoperative neck irradiation protocol was associated with a similar failure pattern to that observed after standard neck irradiation and achieved a significant reduction in target volume and secondary toxicity.