Early clinical experience with volumetric modulated arc therapy in head and neck cancer patients

Marta Scorsetti, Antonella Fogliata, Simona Castiglioni, Caterina Bressi, Mario Bignardi, Piera Navarria, Pietro Mancosu, Luca Cozzi, Sara Pentimalli, Filippo Alongi, Armando Santoro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: To report about early clinical experience in radiation treatment of head and neck cancer of different sites and histology by volumetric modulated arcs with the RapidArc technology.Methods: During 2009, 45 patients were treated at Istituto Clinico Humanitas with RapidArc (28 males and 17 females, median age 65 years). Of these, 78% received concomitant chemotherapy. Thirty-six patients were treated as exclusive curative intent (group A), three as postoperative curative intent (group B) and six with sinonasal tumours (group C). Dose prescription was at Planning Target Volumes (PTV) with simultaneous integrated boost: 54.45Gy and 69.96Gy in 33 fractions (group A); 54.45Gy and 66Gy in 33 fractions (group B) and 55Gy in 25 fractions (group C).Results: Concerning planning optimization strategies and constraints, as per PTV coverage, for all groups, D98% > 95% and V95% > 99%. As regards organs at risk, all planning objectives were respected, and this was correlated with observed acute toxicity rates. Only 28% of patients experienced G3 mucositis, 14% G3 dermitis 44% had G2 dysphagia. Nobody required feeding tubes to be placed during treatment. Acute toxicity is also related to chemotherapy. Two patients interrupted the course of radiotherapy because of a quick worsening of general clinical condition.Conclusions: These preliminary results stated that volumetric modulated arc therapy in locally advanced head and neck cancers is feasible and effective, with acceptable toxicities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number93
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Medicine(all)

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