Objectives: To present our experience of salvage surgery for recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma after primary treatment by radiotherapy.
Patients and methods: Eleven of 25 patient treated for nasopharyngeal carcinoma between 1990 and 2003 with radiotherapy had either residual or recurrent disease and underwent salvage surgery. The type C infratemporal fossa approach was used to access residual tumor. The patients' progress was followed by clinical examination and interval magnetic resonance scans.
Outcome measures and results: The results were analyzed in terms of morbidity and oncological outcome; patients were recorded as NED (no existing disease), AWD (alive with disease), and DOD (died of disease). A disease-free survival rate of 72% was achieved in the salvage surgery group of patients and an overall disease-free survival rate of 56% applied to the initial cohort of 25 patients, following both the single mode and combined treatment.
Conclusion: Salvage surgery is feasible for patients with recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma and may be achieved with minimal morbidity using the type C infratemporal fossa approach.