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December 1985

Iridium-192 Implants in the Treatment of Tonsillar Region Malignancies

Author Affiliations

From the University of California, Irvine (Drs Puthawala and Syed), the Memorial Medical Center (Drs Puthawala and Syed), and St Mary's Medical Center (Dr Gates), Long Beach, Calif.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1985;111(12):812-815. doi:10.1001/archotol.1985.00800140056010

• A total of 127 patients with histologically proved diagnosis of carcinoma of the tonsillar region and soft palate were treated over the past ten years utilizing interstitial iridium-192 implants. Eighty patients were treated for primary tumors and 47 patients for either recurrent or persistent tumors after definitive irradiation and/or surgery. All patients with primary tumors were treated by a combination of external megavoltage irradiation and interstitial iridium-192 implants, whereas patients with recurrent tumors were treated by interstitial implants alone. In the primary group, 95% of patients with T1 and T2 lesions and 79% with T3 and T4 lesions achieved complete local tumor control. The three-year absolute disease-free survival rate was 72%. Seventy-five percent local tumor control was obtained in patients with recurrent disease, with two-year absolute disease-free survival of 42%. Treatment-related complications such as soft-tissue necrosis or osteoradionecrosis occurred in 6% of patients in the primary group and 23% in recurrent group. This treatment regimen offers an excellent locoregional control with no significant functional or esthetic impairment. Most patients with primary lesions who fail this regimen can be salvaged by surgery or reirradiation using interstitial implants. Reirradiation with interstitial implants is feasible and offers a good chance of long-term local tumor control in the selected group of patients with recurrent disease for whom external irradiation and/or surgery had not been successful.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1985;111:812-815)