Radiation Therapy for Cutaneous Malignancies of the Head and Neck

Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 2021 Apr;54(2):307-327. doi: 10.1016/j.otc.2020.11.009. Epub 2021 Feb 16.


Radiation therapy plays an integral role in the management of cutaneous malignancies of the head and neck. This article highlights the use of radiation therapy in the definitive and adjuvant setting for basal cell carcinoma, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and Merkel cell carcinoma. Themes that emerge include the overall efficacy of radiation therapy as a local therapy, the relevance of cosmesis, functional outcomes, late toxicities as secondary end points, and the multitude of treatment modalities that are used.

Keywords: Basal cell carcinoma; Keratinocyte carcinoma; Melanoma; Merkel cell carcinoma; Radiation therapy; Radiotherapy; Skin cancer; Squamous cell carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Basal Cell* / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell* / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / radiotherapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Skin Neoplasms* / radiotherapy