Possibilities of Preventing Osteoradionecrosis During Complex Therapy of Tumors of the Oral Cavity

Zsolt NÉMETH1, András SOMOGYI2, Zoltán TAKÁCSI-NAGY2, József BARABÁS1, György NÉMETH2, György SZABÓ1

1Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
2Department of Radiotherapy, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary


In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of tumors of the head and neck. Their successful treatment is one of the greatest challenges for physicians dealing with oncotherapy. An organic part of the complex therapy is preoperative or postoperative irradiation. Application of this is accompanied by a lower risk of recurrences, and by a higher proportion of cured patients. Unfortunately, irradiation also has a disadvantage: the development of osteoradionecrosis, a special form of osteomyelitis, in some patients (mainly in those cases where irradiation occurs after bone resection or after partial removal of the periosteum). Once the clinical picture of this irradiation complication has developed, its treatment is very difficult. A significant result or complete freedom from complaints can be attained only rarely. Attention must therefore be focussed primarily on prevention, and the oral surgeon, the oncoradiologist and the patient too can all do much to help prevent the occurrence of osteoradionecrosis. Through coupling of an up-to-date, functional surgical attitude with knowledge relating to modern radiology and radiation physics, the way may be opened to forestall this complication that is so difficult to cure. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 6, Nr 1, 53-58, 2000

Key words: Tumors of the oral cavity; mandibular resection; radiotherapy; osteoradionecrosis; prevention

Received: Sep 16, 1999; accepted: Dec 10, 1999
Correspondence: Zsolt NÉMETH, Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Semmelweis University, Mária u. 52. Budapest H-1085, Hungary; Tel: +36-1-2660-457, Fax: +36-1-2660-456

Click here to get the full-text version in PDF!