Author(s): Elshaikh MA, MahmoudAhmed AS, Kinney SE, Wood BG, Lee JH,
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Abstract PURPOSE: To compare the outcome of salvage radiotherapy (RT) and surgery for recurrent head-and-neck chemodectomas. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively studied 70 patients with benign chemodectomas of the head and neck treated with surgery at the Cleveland Clinic between July 1969 and August 1999; 29 of these patients were diagnosed with recurrent tumors. Salvage RT was used in 12 patients (gamma knife radiosurgery for 7, conventional external beam RT for 4, and intensity-modulated RT for 1 patient). The median follow-up was 55 months for the entire group of 70 patients. RESULTS: The median time to recurrence was 36 months. Of the recurrences, 16 were glomus jugulare, 7 were carotid body tumors, 5 were glomus tympanicum, and 1 was thyroid paraganglioma. RT was used in 12 patients (9 patients with glomus jugulare, 2 with glomus tympanicum, and 1 with thyroid paraganglioma). Surgery was performed in 17 patients (7 patients with glomus jugulare, 7 with carotid body, and 3 with glomus tympanicum). For patients with glomus jugulare and glomus tympanicum tumors, the 5-year freedom from disease progression was 100\% for patients treated with RT vs. 62\% for those treated with surgery (p = 0.0124). Seven patients with carotid body tumors and 1 patient with thyroid paraganglioma were treated successfully with surgery and RT, respectively. No significant side effects were associated with RT; however, postoperative complications occurred in 8 of the 17 surgery patients (new cranial nerve palsies, meningitis, infection, and cerebrospinal fluid leak). CONCLUSION: Salvage RT appears superior to surgery and should be considered the treatment of choice for patients with recurrent glomus jugulare and glomus tympanicum tumors. For recurrent carotid body tumors, surgery produced excellent local control, most likely because of the easier resectability in this location.
This article was published in Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals