BACKGROUND: The diagnosis and treatment of head and neck carcinoma of unknown primary (CUP) have changed with the introduction of fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET)/CT and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), with potential implications for outcome.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 80 patients with head and neck CUP who were PET-staged and treated with curative intention using IMRT between 2006 and 2016 in the Netherlands Cancer Institute. Patient, tumor, and treatment demographics were recorded and oncologic outcomes were analyzed.
RESULTS: Local control was 100% in mucosal irradiated patients. Regional control was 90%. Ten patients developed distant metastases, which were associated with N3, extracapsular extension (ECE) and lower neck positive lymph nodes. Overall survival (OS) at 5 years was 62% and disease-specific survival was 78%. ECE, N3 neck, multiple levels of positive lymph nodes, and positive lymph nodes in the lower neck were associated with worse prognosis.
CONCLUSION: Locoregional outcome of head and neck CUP managed with modern techniques is good. Future research needs to focus on reducing toxicity and patients prone for distant metastasis.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Head & Neck|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2017|