Research Article

Fast neutron treatment as an alternative to radical surgery for malignant tumours of the facial area.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 289 doi: (Published 15 December 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;289:1653
  1. M Catterall,
  2. P R Blake,
  3. R P Rampling


    Thirty one patients with very advanced tumours of the maxillary sinus were treated with fast neutrons. Tumour regressed completely in 29 (94%) and subsequently recurred in four (14%). No surgical excision of bone, skin, or nerve was required, and an artificial eye was well tolerated in cases where the eye received the tumour dose and had to be removed. Complications occurred in 10 patients, two of whom had already received radical x ray treatment. The overall duration of neutron treatment was four weeks, and admission to hospital was usually unnecessary. These results compared well with those obtained with surgery. Surgery with curative intent for even moderately advanced tumours of the facial region, particularly the paranasal sinuses, results in deformity, which is often severe and always irreversible. Even so, the cure rate is only about 35%. The high rates of tumour control and the avoidance of severe cosmetic and functional defects after fast neutron treatment make it an alternative to radical surgery in the management of malignant tumours of the facial area.