Postradiation sarcoma of head and neck: Report of two cases

Alberto Bonetta, Maria Carolina Gelli, Giampaolo Zini, Cinzia Iotti, Verter Barbieri, Corrado Pedroni, Luciano Armaroli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims and background: Post-irradiation sarcoma (PIS) is a rare, late side effect of radiotherapy and, consequently, its natural history is not well known. For this reason, two cases treated between 1975 and 1990 are described. Case reports: The authors describe one case of malignant fibrous histiocytoma grown in the larynx 111 months after conservative surgery and postoperative radiotherapy, and one case of soft tissue sarcoma developed in the oral cavity 72 months after radical interstitial low dose rate brachytherapy. Both patients had chronic distress of the soft tissues after the primary treatment. The patients are alive and well respectively at 94 and 18 months from salvage surgery. Discussion: The PIS of the head and neck region is a rare event, usually with a bad prognosis. An improvement in results could be possible with early diagnosis, followed by a timely excision, when anatomically possible. As the chronic suffering of the irradiated tissues may increase the risk of PIS, a longer and more frequent follow-up is advisable in these cases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-272
Number of pages3
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 1996


  • head and neck cancer
  • post-irradiation sarcoma
  • radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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