To assess the efficacy of salvage surgery for patients with recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) at the primary site after radiotherapy.
Retrospective analysis of 24 patients treated by transpalatal, transmaxillary, or transmandibular approach to resect the recurrent tumor, with maximum follow-up of 50 months.
Academic tertiary referral center.
Radiotherapy before salvage surgery included 1 to 3 courses of radiation to the nasopharynx, with doses ranging from 60 to 190 Gy. Eighteen (75%) of the patients relapsed within 2 years, and 6 (25%) relapsed more than 6 years after the last irradiation. In 4 of 6 laterelapsing cases, the histopathological type changed to keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma, which is rare in cases of NPC in Taiwan. Fourteen patients (58%) survived for 8 to 50 months after surgery (median, 18 months). The surgical complications were tolerable.
Salvage surgery is feasible in selected patients with recurrent disease at the primary site. Thus, we can offer alternative retreatment in addition to external irradiation for patients with recurrent NPC.Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1997;123:305-309