Abstract

Radiation therapy (RT) plays a key role in curative-intent treatments for head and neck cancers. Its use is indicated as a sole therapy in early stage tumors or in combination with surgery or concurrent chemotherapy in advanced stages. Recent technologic advances have resulted in both improved oncologic results and expansion of the indications for RT in clinical practice. Despite this, RT administered to the head and neck region is still burdened by a high rate of acute and late side effects. Moreover, about 50% of patients with high-risk disease experience loco-regional recurrence within 3 years of follow-up. Therefore, in recent decades, efforts have been dedicated to optimize the cost/benefit ratio of RT in this subset of patients. The aim of the present review was to highlight modern concepts of RT for head and neck cancers considering both the technological advances that have been achieved and recent knowledge that has informed the biological interaction between radiation and both tumor and healthy tissues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-245
Number of pages13
JournalSeminars in Oncology
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • IMRT
  • Modern radiotherapy
  • Proton therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology

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