Reirradiation with brachytherapy for recurrent tongue cancer after initial brachytherapy

N. Kunitake, K. Nakamura, M. Kimura, T. Watanabe, T. Sasaki, H. Terashima, K. Jingu, K. Masuda

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The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of reirradiation with brachytherapy in the treatment of patients with tongue cancer that had recurred after initial brachytherapy. A retrospective analysis was performed in 12 patients with tongue cancer treated by reirradiation with brachytherapy using rigid linear sources such as the 226Ra-needle or 192Ir-hairpin at Kyushu University Hospital from 1978 to 1998. The patients included 8 men and 4 women, who ranged in age from 30 to 69 years (mean, 52 years). At the time of reirradiation, 7 patients had stage I cancer, and 5 had stage II cancer, according to the UICC (1997) classification. The median follow-up time of the surviving patients was 92 months. The 5-year relapse-free and cause-specific survival rates were 31% and 64%, respectively. The 5-year cause-specific survival rate varied according to the interval between the first and second course of brachytherapy and was 25% for intervals of less than 12 months and 83% for intervals of more than 12 months. Only 4 patients with local recurrence were recognized after their second course of brachytherapy. Among the 6 patients who survived more than 2 years after reirradiation without local recurrence, symptomatic complications such as soft tissue necrosis and minimal bone necrosis were found in 3 patients, but these side effects were not serious enough to require surgery. Reirradiation with a second course of brachytherapy may be useful in the treatment of patients with tongue cancer that recurs more than 12 months after initial brachytherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)427-430
Number of pages4
JournalNihon Igaku Hōshasen Gakkai zasshi. Nippon acta radiologica
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Oncology


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