Radiation oncology (London, England) 2015-09-21
Efficacy of elective nodal irradiation in skin squamous cell carcinoma of the face, ears, and scalp.   
In patients at high risk for regional node metastasis from squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the skin of the face, ear, or scalp, radiotherapy to the regional nodes is an alternative to parotid or neck surgery. Data on the efficacy of elective nodal radiotherapy in this setting are scarce such that there is no publication specifically addressing the subject. The purpose of our study is to fill this void in the skin cancer literature.
This is a single-institution study of outcomes following elective nodal radiotherapy in 71 consecutively treated adults with SCC of the face, ears, or scalp. Primary site stage distribution per the American Joint Committee on Cancer, 7(th) Edition, was as follows: T1, 15 %; T2, 34 %; T3, 1 %; and T4, 50 %. Other disease characteristics included the following: clinical perineural invasion, 13 %; pathological perineural invasion, 78 %; recurrent disease, 32 %; and positive or close margin, 67 %. The median radiation dose to the first- and second-echelon nodal area was 50 Gy. Acute and late toxicity were graded per the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events, version 4.0. Regional control was assessed using the Kaplan-Meier product limit method.
Median followup was 4.5 years for all patients. The actuarial regional control rate at 5 years was 96 %. There were no (0 %) grade 3 or higher complications from elective nodal irradiation.
Elective nodal irradiation in patients with high-risk SCC of the face, ears and scalp is safe and effective.

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