Research Papers:

The efficacy and toxicity of individualized intensity‑modulated radiotherapy based on the tumor extension patterns of nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Li Lin, Ji‑Jin Yao, Guan‑Qun Zhou, Rui Guo, Fan Zhang, Yuan Zhang, Lin Xu, Lu‑Lu Zhang, Ai‑Hua Lin, Jun Ma and Ying Sun _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:20680-20690. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8004

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Li Lin1,*, Ji-Jin Yao1,*, Guan-Qun Zhou1, Rui Guo1, Fan Zhang1, Yuan Zhang1, Lin Xu1, Lu-Lu Zhang1, Ai-Hua Lin2, 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, People’s Republic of China

2Department of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510080, 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, individualized clinical target volume, clinical outcome, toxicities

Received: October 10, 2015     Accepted: February 18, 2016     Published: March 09, 2016


Background: To evaluate the efficacy and toxicity of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) using individualized clinical target volumes (CTVs) based on the loco-regional extension patterns of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

Methods: From December 2009 to February 2012, 220 patients with histologically-proven, non-disseminated NPC were prospectively treated with IMRT according to an individualized delineation protocol. CTV1 encompassed the gross tumor volume, entire nasopharyngeal mucosa and structures within the pharyngobasilar fascia with a margin. CTV2 encompassed bilateral high risk anatomic sites and downstream anatomic sites adjacent to primary tumor, bilateral retropharyngeal regions, levels II, III and Va, and prophylactic irradiation was gave to one or two levels beyond clinical lymph nodes involvement. Clinical outcomes and toxicities were evaluated.

Results: Median follow-up was 50.8 (range, 1.3–68.0) months, four-year local relapse-free, regional relapse-free, distant metastasis-free, disease-free and overall survival rates were 94.7%, 97.0%, 91.7%, 87.2% and 91.9%, respectively. Acute severe (≥ grade 3) mucositis, dermatitis and xerostomia were observed in 27.6%, 3.6% and zero patients, respectively. At 1 year, xerostomia was mild, with frequencies of Grade 0, 1, 2 and 3 xerostomia of 27.9%, 63.3%, 8.3% and 0.5%, respectively.

Conclusions: IMRT using individualized CTVs provided high rates of local and regional control and a favorable toxicity profile in NPC. Individualized CTV delineation strategy is a promising one that may effectively avoid unnecessary or missed irradiation, and deserve optimization to define more precise individualized CTVs.

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