To evaluate the results of salvage surgery for patients with primary recurrence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma after radiotherapy.
Academic tertiary referral center.
Eighteen consecutive patients with primary recurrence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma after radiation failure underwent nasopharyngectomy for cure via a facial translocation approach from July 1, 1993, to December 31, 1999. Follow-up ranged from 3 to 71 months. Five patients with skull base invasion required a combined neurosurgical approach to treatment. Seven patients had additional postoperative radiotherapy.
The actuarial 3-year survival was 57%, while the local control was 78%. Four of 5 patients who had skull base invasion achieved local control. There was no surgical mortality, and the morbidity was 22%.
Advances in skull base surgery make possible the effective control of primary recurrence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, with acceptable mortality and morbidity.