Postoperative strategies after primary surgery for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

Johannes A. Langendijk, Alfio Ferlito, Robert P. Takes, Juan P. Rodrigo, Carl Suárez, Primo Strojan, Missak Haigentz, Alessandra Rinaldo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This review discusses the role of adjuvant treatment after curative surgery for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In general, patients with unfavourable prognostic factors have a high-risk of loco-regional recurrence and subsequent worse survival after surgery alone and are therefore considered proper candidates for adjuvant treatment by either postoperative radiotherapy alone or postoperative chemoradiation. Selection of the most optimal adjuvant treatment strategy should be based on the most important prognostic factors. In this review, the different treatment strategies will be discussed in general. More specifically, we will discuss the role of the interval between surgery and radiotherapy, the overall treatment time of radiation, the selection of target volumes for radiation and the value of adding concomitant chemotherapy to postoperative radiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-585
Number of pages9
JournalOral Oncology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Postoperative chemoradiation
  • Postoperative radiotherapy
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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