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A comparison of treatments of squamous cell carcinoma of the base of tongue: surgical resection combined with external radiation therapy, external radiation therapy alone, and external radiation therapy combined with interstitial radiation






BrachyTherapy 3(4): 240-245

A comparison of treatments of squamous cell carcinoma of the base of tongue: surgical resection combined with external radiation therapy, external radiation therapy alone, and external radiation therapy combined with interstitial radiation

The outcomes of patients treated at a single institution over a specific time frame using three different therapeutic approaches for cancer of the base of tongue were reviewed. Between 1992 and 1998, 53 patients were treated with curative intent for base of tongue cancer. Seventeen patients underwent surgical resection with postoperative radiation therapy, 16 patients received definitive external radiation therapy only, and 20 patients were treated with external and interstitial radiation, with neck dissection in 16 of those patients. Local control, survival, and functional status were assessed with each approach. The 5-year actuarial local control and survival for the surgically treated patients were 74% and 44%, respectively. The patients treated with external radiation therapy alone had local control of 28% and 5-year survival of 24%. The patients treated with external and interstitial radiation with neck dissection as indicated had 5-year actuarial local control of 87% and survival of 33%. Survival was not statistically different between the three treatment approaches (p=0.0995) but local control was worse in the definitive external radiation group (p < 0.0001). Speech and swallowing function among the long-term survivors was superior in the definitively irradiated patients compared with the operated patients. In this retrospective analysis, survival and local control was lowest in the patients treated with external radiation alone, however, patient selection likely played an important role. Local control was far better with surgical treatment and with external combined with interstitial radiation but survival remains less than 50% with each approach. Surgical treatment was superior for patients with T4 disease. Functional status was higher in the long-term survivors treated nonsurgically.


Accession: 048059366

PMID: 15607157

DOI: 10.1016/j.brachy.2004.09.002



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