Failures (cause and time) of radiotherapy in oral cancer

F. Volterrani, S. Barni, F. Chiesa, C. Uslenghi

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The results of a retrospective clinical evaluation concerning 434 cases of oral carcinomas treated with radiotherapy from January 1959 to December 1967 are presented. The analysis of the results obtained shows that radiotherapy alone may offer a reasonable possibility of success in limited lesions (68.3% 5-year survival of Stage I patients). In more advanced local cases, and especially those with regional adenopathies, radiotherapy alone cannot consistently control the disease for a long period of time; 5-year survival from the onset of treatment was respectively 36.5% and 24.5% for Stage II and III cases. Moreover, if contralateral or bilateral metastatic adenopathies or fixed lymph nodes are present, the prognosis becomes dramatic (2.6% 5-year survival of Stage IV patients). Among the irradiation techniques currently available, curietherapy (interstitial applications or surface molds) presumably offers the best possibility of success, since the observed failures, both overall and stage by stage, are inferior. Radiotherapy alone may generally be of proven efficacy if the local or locoregional extension is limited. In more advanced cases a combined surgery-chemotherapy treatment method is recommended. The criteria for a combined therapeutic approach for these tumors are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-203
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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