Am J Clin Oncol 2006 Jun;29(3):290-7
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL, USA.
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to update our experience with definitive radiotherapy (RT) for carcinoma of the tonsillar area.
Patients And Methods: There were 503 patients treated between October 1964 and May 2003 (potential follow-up for at least 2 years). Of these, 198 patients underwent a planned neck dissection and 57 patients received induction (18 patients) or concomitant (39 patients) chemotherapy.
Results: The 5-year local control rates were as follows: T1, 88%; T2, 84%; T3, 78%; and T4, 61%. Multivariate analysis revealed that local control was significantly influenced by T stage, primary site, and fractionation. Local control after RT for early stage cancers was higher for tonsillar fossa/posterior pillar tumors than for those arising from the anterior tonsillar pillar. The 5-year cause-specific survival rates were as follows: I, 100%; II, 86%; III, 84%; IVA, 73%; and IVB, 46%. Multivariate analysis revealed that cause-specific survival was significantly influenced by T stage, overall stage, neck dissection, race, and gender. The incidence of severe late complications was 9%.
Conclusion: Based on our data and a review of the literature, definitive RT provides cure rates that are as good as those after surgery, and is associated with a lower rate of severe complications. Patients with lateralized tumors may be safely treated with ipsilateral field arrangements. Our limited experience with intensity modulated radiotherapy suggests that it is as efficacious as conventional RT.