Purpose: Relapse remains an unsolved problem for previously radio-treated patients. Our purpose is to evaluate the role of radio-hyperthermia (RT-HT) in the retreatment of superficial recurrences. Materials and methods: From 1998 to 2007, 51 patients affected by four histological types (breast recurrences (group A), melanoma recurrences (group B), head and neck recurrences (group C), and others (group D)) of 76 superficial lesions, were enrolled at Mauriziano Hospital at the Research Institute of Cancer Care Candiolo (IRCC) in Turin. All patients had previously undergone RT except 6 patients of group B. The total mean retreatment dose was 31.8 Gy (20–60 Gy), while the mean of HT sessions was 5 (1 to 8), temperature ranged from 38.5 C (T min) to 44 C (T max). Results: Acute cutaneous toxicity was 77.6% G1, 22.4% G2, none for G3. Forty-five days later we observed: for group A 65.9% complete response (CR), 29.5% partial response (PR), 4.5% non-response (NR); for group B 33.3% CR, 25% PR and 41.7% NR; for group C 40% CR, 13.3% PR, 46.7% NR, for group D 60% CR and 40% NR. 18 months later group A presented 72.7% local control (LC), 20.5% stable disease (SD) and 6.8% non-control (NC), group B 50% LC, 16,7% SD and 33.3% NC, group C 33.3% LC, 40% SD and 26.7% NC, group D 40% LC and 60% NC. Early response, size of lesions 3 cm, T max !42 C and RT doses !40 Gy were predictive outcome factors. Conclusions: We confirmed that radio-hyperthermia is useful in re-irradiation with a very high patient compliance.
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