Fast neutron radiotherapy for primary mucosal melanomas of the head and neck

Jay J. Liao, Upendra Parvathaneni, George E. Laramore, John A. Thompson, Shailender Bhatia, Neal D. Futran, Amit D. Bhrany, Stephen E. Hawes, Matthew Ladra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Primary head and neck mucosal melanomas (HNMMs) are rare tumors managed with surgery and/or radiotherapy and associated with poor outcomes. Given their radioresistance, high linear energy transfer radiotherapy with neutrons may improve local control. Methods We conducted a retrospective review of 14 patients with HNMM treated with neutrons at the University of Washington from 1990 to 2012. Five patients had T3 disease, 9 had T4 disease, 3 had regional nodal disease, and 4 had distant metastases at diagnosis. Primary sites were sinonasal (n=10), lip (n=2), and palate (n=2). Ten patients had initial surgical resection/debulking. Results Nine patients had gross residual disease, 6 had complete response, and 3 had partial response. Local control was achieved in 79% until death or last follow-up, and 50% developed distant metastases. Kaplan-Meier 5-year local control was 66% and overall survival was 21%. Conclusion High rates of locoregional control were achieved with neutrons, despite the presence of gross disease. Survival was limited by early distant metastases. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 36: 1162-1167, 2014

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1162-1167
Number of pages6
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes



  • fast neutrons
  • head and neck neoplasms
  • mucosal melanoma
  • radiotherapy
  • sinonasal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Liao, J. J., Parvathaneni, U., Laramore, G. E., Thompson, J. A., Bhatia, S., Futran, N. D., ... Ladra, M. (2014). Fast neutron radiotherapy for primary mucosal melanomas of the head and neck. Head and Neck, 36(8), 1162-1167.