Radiation therapy of carotid body tumors

R. Valdagni, M. Amichetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Chemodectomas of carotid artery bifurcation are generally managed with surgery, irradiation being reserved for inoperable, bulky, and recurrent tumors. Probably due to this 'pretreatment' selection of patients, chemodectomas are anedoctally considered radioresistant tumors, although this concept is not supported by the recent literature. From 1968 to 1987, 13 carotid body tumors in seven patients were treated with irradiation as sole treatment (10 lesions) or as postoperative modality (three lesions). Familial occurrence and bilateral presentation were observed in 3 of 7 and in 6 of 7 patients, respectively. Total dose of irradiation was of 46-60 Gy (median 50 Gy, mean 52.25 Gy) with dose per fraction of 1.8-2.5 Gy. Local control (subjective or objective) was obtained in all the patients. Clinical results following World Health Organization (WHO) criteria were: 3 of 13 complete response, 7 of 13 partial response and 3 of 13 no change. Follow-up range is 1-19 years. Acute side effects were minimal and mid- or long-term toxicity was absent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Oncology: Cancer Clinical Trials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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