, Volume 271, Issue 2, pp 207-210
Date: 24 Sep 2013

Radiofrequency ablation in advanced head and neck cancer

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Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) often presents as locoregionally advanced disease, which though treated with curative intent, is associated with a poor prognosis [1, 2]. Aggressive combinations of surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are standard treatment for these cancers. Despite advances, some patients with persistent or recurrent incurable disease continue to suffer significant cosmetic and functional consequences as well as pain, disability and other adverse effects on their quality of life. Head and neck cancer patients remain at risk for disease recurrence as well as second primary neoplasms. After conventional treatments, and possibly after salvage surgery or re-irradiation, the treating physician is too often faced with patients who have very advanced disease with very limited treatment options. Even with palliative systemic therapies that now may include biological agents, the median life expectancy of the most functional patients is less than 1 year [3, 4].

This paper was written by members and invitees of the International Head and Neck Scientific Group (www.IHNSG.com).