Radiation-induced sarcoma masquerading as osteoradionecrosis: Case report and literature review

J. Wood, J. Ver Halen*, S. Samant, N. Florendo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background: Radiation therapy is a commonly used treatment in head and neck oncology, whether used alone or as an adjunct to other treatments. Osteoradionecrosis and radiation-induced malignancy are both rare, late complications of radiation therapy. Methods: This paper describes a case of radiation-induced sarcoma of the mandible initially presenting as osteoradionecrosis. In addition, the literature on the identification and treatment of these entities is reviewed. Results: The patient underwent excision and reconstruction of the presumed osteoradionecrosis. Final pathology demonstrated radiation-induced sarcoma. The patient suffered tumour recurrence at seven months post-operatively. Conclusion: When evaluating a patient with osteoradionecrosis, clinicians should be cognisant of the risk of malignancy. This paper describes the first case of radiation-induced sarcoma presenting as osteoradionecrosis. Primary treatment of radiation-induced sarcoma is wide surgical extirpation, with a very limited role for chemotherapy. Overall survival for this entity is poor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-282
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Laryngology and Otology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 23 2015


  • Free Tissue Flaps
  • Mandible
  • Neoplasms
  • Osteoradionecrosis
  • Radiation-Induced
  • Review
  • Sarcoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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