Scientifc publications

Perioperative high-dose-rate brachytherapy (PHDRB) in previously irradiated head and neck cancer: Initial results of a Phase I/II reirradiation study

Rafael Martínez-Monge (1), Juan Alcalde (2), Carlos Concejo (3), Mauricio Cambeiro (1), Cristina Garrán (1)
(1) Department of Oncology, University of Navarra Clinic, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
(2) Department of Otolaryngology, University of Navarra Clinic, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain
(3) Department of Maxillofacial Surgery, University of Navarra Clinic, University of Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

Magazine: Brachytherapy

Date: Jan 1, 2006

Otorhinolaryngology Department [SP] Radiation Oncology

This study was undertaken to determine the feasibility of salvage surgery and perioperative high-dose-rate brachytherapy (PHDRB) at the dose/fractionation schedule proposed in patients with previously irradiated, recurrent head and neck cancer or second primary tumors arising in a previously irradiated field.

Twenty-five patients were treated with surgical resection and PHDRB. The PHDRB dose was 4 Gy b.i.d. x 8 (32 Gy) for R0 resections and 4 Gy b.i.d. x 10 (40 Gy) for R1 resections. Further external beam radiotherapy or chemotherapy was not given.

Resections were categorized as R0 (negative margins of at least 10 mm) in 3 patients (12.0%) and R1 (negative margins of less than 10 mm or microscopically positive margins) in 22 (88.0%). Twelve patients with R1 resections had microscopically positive margins (48%), and 10 patients had close margins (40%), with a median of 2.0 mm. Ten patients (40.0%) developed Radiation Therapy Oncology Group Grade 3 or greater toxicity. Seven patients (28%) presented complications requiring a major surgical procedure. Four of these complications appeared in the immediate postoperative period and were surgical in nature (flap failure, n = 2; fistula, n = 2), and the other three were mainly related to the brachytherapy procedure (n = 2) or the radiation dose delivered (n = 1). One patient died on postoperative day 11 due to bleeding. After a median followup of 14 months, the 4-year local control rate and overall survival were 85.6% and 46.4%, respectively.

Surgical salvage and PHDRB at the dose/fractionation proposed are feasible in this high-risk population. Toxicity is high, but not substantially different from other reirradiation series. Four-year local control results are encouraging taking into account that 22 of 25 patients (88%) had either close or microscopically positive margins.

CITATION  Brachytherapy. 2006 Jan-Mar;5(1):32-40

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