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Role of radiotherapy in the treatment of metastatic head and neck cancer

Authors Ordoñez R, Otero A, Jerez I, Medina JA, Lupiañez-Pérez Y, Gomez-Millan J

Received 27 July 2018

Accepted for publication 4 December 2018

Published 18 January 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 677—683


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Arseniy Yuzhalin

Rafael Ordoñez, Ana Otero, Inmaculada Jerez, Jose A Medina, Yolanda Lupiañez-Pérez, Jaime Gomez-Millan

Department of Radiation Oncology, Hospital Universitario Virgen de la Victoria, Málaga, Spain

Abstract: In metastatic or locally advanced head and neck tumors that present in frail patients or after chemotherapy progression, radiotherapy is normally used as a palliative treatment, with a high rate of symptom palliation and improvement in quality of life. However, there is controversy about what the optimal regimen is. Moreover, despite the poor prognosis of metastatic head and neck cancer, different retrospective studies have shown that a minority of patients with oligometastatic disease experience prolonged disease-free survival after adding curative radiotherapy treatment to the metastatic disease and/or primary tumor. Different retrospective studies have identified clinical prognostic factors that may be used to select candidate patients with metastatic head and neck cancer for a radical approach with radiotherapy. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the role of radiotherapy in metastatic and locally advanced head and neck tumors.

Keywords: palliative, head and neck cancer, radiotherapy, oligometastatic disease

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