Research Papers:

A prospective study on radiation doses to organs at risk (OARs) during intensity-modulated radiotherapy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients

Ji-Jin Yao, Fo-Ping Chen, Guan-Qun Zhou, Wang-Jian Zhang, Lin Xu, Xiao-Ju Wang, Li Lin, Jun Ma and Ying Sun _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:21742-21752. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7826

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Ji-Jin Yao1,*, Fo-Ping Chen1,*, Guan-Qun Zhou1, Wang-Jian Zhang2, Lin Xu3, Xiao-Ju Wang1, Li Lin1, Jun Ma1, Ying Sun1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Guangzhou 510060, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China

2Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology & Health Information Research Center & Guangdong Key Laboratory of Medicine, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong Province, People's Republic of China

3Department of Oncology, Guangzhou First People’s Hospital, Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510180, Guangdong Province, People’s Republic of China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Ying Sun, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, intensity-modulated radiotherapy, organs at risk, radiation dose, gross tumor volume

Received: January 07, 2016     Accepted: February 21, 2016     Published: March 01, 2016


This study is to investigate the dose distribution of organs at risk (OARs) in cases of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). From July 2013 to October 2014, a prospective cohort study involving 148 patients was carried out at our center. OARs surrounding the nasopharynx were contoured on axial CT planning images in all patients. Dose-volume histograms of OARs and gross tumor volumes (GTV) were calculated. Multivariate analysis showed that radiation dose to OARs was associated with T stage and, especially, GTV. Seven OARs, including the spinal cord, eye and mandible, easily tolerated radiation doses in all patients; six OARs including the brain stem, chiasm and temporal lobe easily tolerated radiation doses in patients with a small GTV, but with difficulty when GTV was large; and other nine OARs including the parotid gland, cochlea and tympanic cavity met tolerance doses with difficulty in all patients. According to the patterns of radiation doses to OARs, it may help us to further reduce subsequent complications by improving the efficiency of plan optimization and evaluation.

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