Rare head and neck cancers: carbon-ion re-irradiation may be effective and safe

  • Held T & al.
  • Radiat Oncol
  • 12 Nov 2019

  • curated by Brian Richardson, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Carbon-ion re-irradiation (CIR) is associated with 66% local control and 72% distant control in patients with rare head and neck cancers (HNCs).

Why this matters

  • CIR may represent an alternative treatment to palliative systemic therapies.

Key results

  • Median total dose with carbon ions was 51 Gy.
  • The median interval between initial radiotherapy (RT) and CIR was 5.2 years.
  • The median total tumor lifetime dose after initial RT and CIR was 128.6 Gy.
  • Median local PFS was 24.2 months.
  • 1-year local control was 66%.
  • 1-year distant control was 72%.
  • Median OS after CIR was 28.5 months for patients with an RT interval ≥2 years vs 8.9 months for patients with an RT interval
  • No severe (≥grade 3) acute or late toxicities were observed after CIR.

Study design

  • 32 patients with rare HNC were treated with CIR and analyzed for outcomes.
  • Funding: None.

Limitations

  • Short follow-up (median 18.1 months).
  • Small patient sample size.
  • Retrospective study.