Stereotactic body radiotherapy for head and neck cancer: an addition to the armamentarium against head and neck cancer

Future Oncol. 2015;11(21):2937-47. doi: 10.2217/fon.15.236. Epub 2015 Sep 28.


In the recent years, stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) has emerged as a potential therapy for head and neck malignancies. Although early results appear to be promising, serious acute and late effects have been observed, mainly in patients who have had prior external beam radiotherapy. This review will discuss the radiobiology of SBRT, clinical rationale and outcomes for SBRT in head and neck cancers and focus on the benefits and potential limitations in both de novo and re-irradiation settings.

Keywords: carotid blowout; head and neck cancer; local control; overall survival; radiobiology; re-irradiation; stereotactic body radiotherapy; toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / complications
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / therapy
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Radiosurgery* / adverse effects
  • Radiosurgery* / methods
  • Retreatment / adverse effects
  • Retreatment / methods
  • Treatment Outcome