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High-Dose Static and Dynamic Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy Combined with Chemotherapy for Patients with Locally Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Improves Survival and Reduces Brainstem Toxicity

Pi-Yun Sun, Yan-Hua Chen, Xian-Bin Feng, Chun-Xu Yang, Fang Wu, Ren-Sheng Wang

(Department of Radiation Oncology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, China (mainland))

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: CLR8849-8859

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.910465

BACKGROUND: Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is the standard treatment for patients with nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). However, the dose-volume criteria for adjacent anatomically normal organs at risk (OARs) remain controversial. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of higher than conventional doses of static and dynamic IMRT on the locoregional control of NPC, patient survival, and brainstem radiation toxicity.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Patients (n=186) with stage III and stage IVa NPC underwent high-dose static and dynamic IMRT treatment (68–76.96 Gy) with or without chemotherapy for 34–57 days. Overall survival (OS), the presence of distant metastases, and brainstem toxicity were assessed. One-year, three-year, and five-year follow-up was performed.
RESULTS: High-dose IMRT alone or in combination with chemotherapy resulted in a 100% objective response rate and significantly improved OS rates, with one-year, three-year, and five-year OS rates of 94.1%, 89.8%, and 88.2%, respectively. The local recurrence rate (17.6%), and distant metastasis to the lung, liver, and bone (17.2%), and mortality (n=22) were reduced. Chemotherapy was the only factor that was significantly correlated with patient survival. Brainstem toxicity was reduced in patients treated with static IMRT (0.07%) and dynamic IMRT (0.08%). There were 26 additional factors that were not found to significantly affect brainstem toxicity.
CONCLUSIONS: High-dose static or dynamic IMRT combined with chemotherapy improved survival and reduces distal metastasis with a very low occurrence of brainstem toxicity in patients with locally advanced NPC. These findings might provide therapeutic guidance for clinicians when planning optimal dose-volume IMRT parameters.

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