Stereotactic body radiotherapy as primary therapy for head and neck cancer in the elderly or patients with poor performance. Academic Article uri icon


  • Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) is increasingly used to treat a variety of tumors, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in the recurrent setting. While there are published data for re-irradiation using SBRT for HNSCC, there are limited data supporting its use as upfront treatment for locally advanced disease.Here, we describe three patients who received SBRT as the primary treatment for their HNSCC along with a review of the current literature and discussion of future pathways.The three cases discussed tolerated treatment well with manageable acute toxicities and had either a clinical or radiographic complete response to therapy.Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma presents a unique challenge in the elderly, where medical comorbidities make it difficult to tolerate conventional radiation, often given with a systemic sensitizer. For these individuals, providing a shortened course using SBRT may offer an effective alternative.

publication date

  • January 1, 2014