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February 1983

High Fractional Dose Irradiation of Advanced Head and Neck Cancer: Implications for Combined Radiotherapy and Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Therapeutic Radiology (Drs Weissberg, Son, and Fischer) and the Section of Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery (Drs Pillsbury and Sasaki), Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn. Read before the American Society for Head and Neck Surgery, Palm Beach, Fla, May 6, 1982.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(2):98-102. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800160032008

• Short-course, high fractional dose radiation therapy was compared with the conventional protracted radiation schedule in the treatment of advanced (stages III and IV) head and neck cancer. Sixty-four patients with surgically unresectable squamous cell carcinoma were randomized to receive either 6,000 to 7,000 rad in six to seven weeks or 4,000 to 4,800 rad in two to three weeks. The palliative benefits of irradiation were comparable in the two treatment arms, and complete tumor regression was observed in the majority of patients in both groups. There was no difference between the groups with regard to either short-term normal tissue radiation reaction or long-term complications. High fractional dose irradiation appears to yield results equivalent to those of conventionally fractionated radiation therapy in advanced head and neck cancer and deserves further study both as primary treatment and in combination with surgery.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1983;109:98-102)

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