Both primary and recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck are classic indications for brachytherapy. A high rate of local tumor control at the cost of limited morbidity can be achieved with brachytherapy through good patient selection, meticulous source implantation and careful treatment planning. However, no randomized trials have been performed, and there is scant evidence in the literature especially regarding practical clinical recommendations for brachytherapy for head and neck subsites. The Head and Neck Working Group of the European Brachytherapy Group (Groupe Européen de Curiethérapie-European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (GEC-ESTRO) therefore decided to formulate the present consensus recommendations for low-dose rate, pulsed-dose rate and high-dose rate brachytherapy. The use of brachytherapy in combination with external beam radiotherapy and/or surgery is also covered as well as the use of brachytherapy in previously irradiated patients. Given the paucity of evidence in the literature, these recommendations are mainly based on clinical experience accumulated by the members of the working group over several decades and the respective publications. The recommendations cover in a general part (1) patient selection, the pre-treatment work up and patient care, (2) treatment strategy, (3) target definition, (4) implant techniques, (5) dose and dose rate prescription, (6) treatment planning and reporting, (7) treatment monitoring (8) catheter removal, and (9) post-treatment patient care and follow-up. The recommendations are then specified for the classical brachytherapy tumor sites following an analogue more focussed structure (patient selection, implant technique, target definition, dose and dose rate prescription, results): lip, oral mucosa, mobile tongue, floor of mouth, oropharynx, nasopharynx, paranasal sinuses.

Brachytherapy, Head and neck cancer, High-dose rate, Interstitial, Low-dose rate, Pulsed-dose rate, Radiotherapy
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.radonc.2009.01.005, hdl.handle.net/1765/24500
Radiotherapy & Oncology
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Mazeron, J.J, Ardiet, J.M, Haie-Méder, C, Kovács, G, Levendag, P.C, Peiffert, D, … Strnad, V. (2009). GEC-ESTRO recommendations for brachytherapy for head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Radiotherapy & Oncology, 91(2), 150–156. doi:10.1016/j.radonc.2009.01.005