What is the role of postoperative re-irradiation in recurrent and second primary squamous cell cancer of head and neck? A literature review according to PICO criteria.

Anna Merlotti, Rosario Mazzola, Daniela Alterio, Filippo Alongi, Almalina Bacigalupo, Pierluigi Bonomo, Marta Maddalo, Elvio Grazioso Russi, Ester Orlandi

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Re-irradiation has been increasingly offered as a potential effective treatment for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) loco-regional recurrence as well as second primary tumor in previously irradiated area. This review focused on the role of postoperative re-irradiation (POreRT) in terms of feasibility, toxicity and long-term outcomes in HNSCC patients. The key issue for the research was formulated in two questions according to the PICO (population, intervention, control, and outcomes) criteria. A total of 16 publications met the inclusion criteria for a total of 919 patients; in 522 patients POreRT was performed. POreRT in recurrent and second primary HNSCC seems to be feasible in highly selected patients with the intent to guarantee an acceptable LC compared to surgery alone. The optimal RT schedule remains unclear due to the heterogeneity of literature data.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)20-30
Number of pages11
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell/*radiotherapy/surgery, Head and Neck Neoplasms/*radiotherapy/surgery, Head and neck squamous cell cancer, Humans, Neoplasm Recurrence, Local/*radiotherapy, Neoplasms, Second Primary/*radiotherapy, radiotherapy, Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic, recurrence, Re-irradiation, Retreatment, Squamous cell carcinoma, Treatment Outcome

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