PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical outcome of high-dose-rate (HDR) interstitial brachytherapy (IBT) in patients with oral cavity cancer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixteen patients with oral cavity cancer treated with HDR remote-control afterloading brachytherapy using 192Ir between 2001 and 2013 were analyzed retrospectively. Brachytherapy was administered in 11 patients as the primary treatment and in five patients as salvage treatment for recurrence after the initial surgery. In 12 patients, external beam radiotherapy (50-55 Gy/25 fractions) was combined with IBT of 21 Gy/7 fractions. In addition, IBT was administered as the sole treatment in three patients with a total dose of 50 Gy/10 fractions and as postoperative adjuvant treatment in one patient with a total of 35 Gy/7 fractions. RESULTS: The 5-year overall survival of the entire group was 70%. The actuarial local control rate after 3 years was 84%. All five recurrent cases after initial surgery were successfully salvaged using IBT +/- external beam radiotherapy. Two patients developed local recurrence at 3 and 5 months, respectively, after IBT. The acute complications were acceptable (< or =grade 2). Three patients developed major late complications, such as radio-osteonecrosis, in which one patient was treated by conservative therapy and two required surgical intervention. CONCLUSION: HDR IBT for oral cavity cancer was effective and acceptable in diverse clinical settings, such as in the cases of primary or salvage treatment.