Objective: To review the outcomes of a phase II study using laser-induced thermal therapy (LITT) as a palliative treatment for 106 patients with recurrent head and neck tumors. Study Design: Retrospective study. Setting: Tertiary hospital in the United States. Subjects and Methods: The primary endpoints were tumor response and survival. Prognostic values were assessed by the Kaplan-Meier method. Results: The best results were seen in oral cavity tumors, in which mean survival was 29.1 months, as compared to neck tumors (mean 14.4 ± 6.9 months; range 7.5-20.7 months; with a 95% confidence interval). Further analysis showed that clinical factors such as gender, smoking, and alcohol use were not indicators of poor prognosis, whereas neck disease and tumor stage at first treatment were relevant factors. Conclusion: In this study, 40 out of 106 patients treated by LITT remained alive at the end of our follow-up, and a complete response was seen in 24 (22.6%) patients. The highest response rate was seen in oral cavity tumors, which suggests that tumor location at this site may be a predictor of favorable outcome with LITT.
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