The effectiveness of palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases from head and neck cancer
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To evaluate the efficacy of radiation therapy for pain relief of bone metastases from head and neck cancer, a total of 22 patients with head and neck cancer with 30 metastatic bone lesions treated by radiation therapy at the Cancer Institute Hospital were analyzed. These patients were given a dose of 20 to 50 Gy in 10 to 25 fractions using liniac X-ray or electron beam and were divided into two groups. Group A consisted of 10 patients with tongue cancer (tongue cancer group), and group B consisted of 12 patients other than with tongue cancer (non-tongue cancer group). In group A, of the 6 metastatic lesions treated with over 30 Gy, 17% achieved CR (complete pain relief for more than 3 months), 33% showed PR (over 50% extent pain relief), and 50% NC. While, in group B, of the 17 lesions 35% showed Cr, 53% PR and 12% NC. There was a significant difference in the response rate (50% vs 88%, P<0.01) of pain relief between the osseous metastases from tongue cancer group and the non-tongue cancer group, although further prospective studies are necessary to elucidate the radiosensitivity of bone metastases in terms of the histologic difference in head and neck cancer patients.
Key WordsRadiation therapy Bone metastases Head and neck cancer Pain relief
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