Target coverage in head and neck cancer treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy: A comparison between conventionaland conformal techniques

Mauro Palazzi, Ester Orlandi, Emanuele Pignoli, Manuela Lualdi, Giancarlo Zonca, Claudia Sangalli, Claudio Stucchi, Patrizia Olmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aims and background: We designed a comparative planning study aimed at quantifying the advantages of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) over the conventional 3-field technique (3FT) and a 5-field conformal technique (5FCT) for head and neck (HN) cancer. Methods: We selected 9 patients treated at our institution with curative radiotherapy for a HN cancer. For all cases 4 plans were generated: 2 plans using the "standard" techniques (3FT and 5FCT), a third plan using IMRT, and a fourth "mixed" plan using IMRT followed by a conventional boost. Results: Our study confirmed literature data on the ability of IMRT to significantly decrease the dose received by organs at risk, compared with previous techniques. Target coverage was systematically better with 5FCT and IMRT than with 3FT. However, the increase in coverage of both PTV2 and PTV1 was only about 3-5% and this was achieved at the price of a similar increase in maximum dose (D1%). Volumetric parameters (V100%, V95%) were much more sensitive in detecting the improvement with IMRT. Conclusions: The improvement of target coverage attained by IMRT, as compared with conventional and conformal techniques, might be overestimated by data currently available in the medical literature. If treatment with conventional techniques is planned using all tools provided by currently available fully 3-D planning systems, excellent target coverage can be obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-510
Number of pages8
JournalTumori
Volume92
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006

Keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • IMRT
  • Planning study
  • Target coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research

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