Objective: This systematic review aimed to answer the clinical question, "What is the current risk of developing osteoradionecrosis of the jaws among irradiated head and neck cancer patients?"
Study design: A systematic review of published English-language randomized controlled trials on the outcome of radiation therapy was performed via Medline and Embase databases. Data on osteoradionecrosis/bone toxicity were collected and analyzed.
Results: Twenty-two articles reporting on a total of 5,742 patients were selected for final review based on strict eligibility criteria. An estimated 2% of the head and neck-irradiated patients are at risk of developing osteoradionecrosis. Patients receiving adjunctive radiotherapy, accelerated fractionation without dose reduction, and chemoradiotherapy show no increase in osteoradionecrosis risk. Accelerated fractionation with dose reduction is associated with a reduced risk, whereas hyperfractionation shows elevated risk of developing osteoradionecrosis.
Conclusions: The risk of developing osteoradionecrosis among the irradiated head and neck cancer patient has significantly declined in recent years.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.