Radiotherapy for Temporal Bone Cancers

  • Sweet Ping Ng
  • G. Brandon Gunn


Temporal bone cancer is an extremely rare head and neck cancer, accounting for only 0.2% of all head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Although there has been no consensus of optimal treatment strategies for temporal bone cancers, it is generally accepted that postoperative radiation therapy improves locoregional control in high-risk cases. There have been reports on the role of definitive radiotherapy with/without concurrent chemotherapy in patients with locally advanced disease with comparable outcomes to surgery. Although the number of patients in these studies is small and the significance of results remained debatable, it indicated that radiation therapy remained a viable option for patients with non-operable disease. Delivering radiation therapy in this delicate area of the head and neck remains a challenge due to the proximity of critical neural and bony structures to the tumor. Radiation therapy can lead to significant late effects. Therefore, it is imperative to monitor patients for years after radiotherapy for tumor recurrence and possible late effects. In this chapter, we will present several cases to highlight treatment planning challenges and different radiation modalities that can be utilized in patients with tumors involving the temporal bone.


Radiotherapy Photon Proton Definitive Toxicity 





Computed tomography






Intensity-modulated proton therapy


Intensity-modulated radiation (photon) therapy


Intraoperative radiation therapy


Magnetic resonance imaging


Positron emission tomography


Postoperative radiotherapy


Squamous cell carcinoma


Volumetric modulated arc therapy


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation OncologyThe University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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