Radiation oncology for the rhinologist

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2024 Feb 1;32(1):5-13. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0000000000000942. Epub 2023 Nov 30.


Purpose of review: This comprehensive review explores evolving treatment strategies for sinonasal and nasopharyngeal malignancies. It analyzes the role of adjuvant radiotherapy, the potential of intensity-modulated proton therapy (IMPT), and the relevance of de-escalation strategies nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Additionally, it discusses hyperfractionation in re-irradiation in NPC.

Recent findings: Adjuvant radiotherapy remains pivotal for sinonasal tumors, improving locoregional control and survival, notably in squamous cell carcinomas, adenocarcinomas, and adenoid cystic carcinomas. IMPT promises enhanced outcomes by sparing healthy tissues, potentially improving patients' quality of life. For select stage II/T3N0 NPC, radiotherapy alone offers comparable outcomes to concurrent chemoradiotherapy, with fewer adverse events and improved quality of life. Selective neck irradiation in NPC patients with uninvolved necks maintains oncologic outcomes while reducing late toxicity. Hyperfractionation in re-irradiation shows promise in lowering late toxicities and improving overall survival, particularly in undifferentiated sinonasal carcinomas.

Summary: This review underscores the significance of adjuvant radiotherapy and the potential of advanced radiation techniques in optimizing sinonasal and nasopharyngeal malignancy outcomes. It emphasizes evolving de-escalation methods and individualized, evidence-based approaches. Future research will further refine strategies for these challenging malignancies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell*
  • Humans
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Quality of Life
  • Radiation Oncology*