Purpose: To study the safety and efficacy of dose escalation in tumor for locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
Methods and materials: From September 2000 to June 2004, 50 patients with T3-T4 NPC were treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Fourteen patients had Stage III and 36 patients had Stage IVA-IVB disease. The prescribed dose was 76 Gy to gross tumor volume (GTV), 70 Gy to planning target volume (PTV), and 72 Gy to enlarged neck nodes (GTVn). All doses were given in 35 fractions over 7 weeks. Thirty-four patients also had concurrent cisplatin and induction or adjuvant PF (cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil).
Results: The average mean dose achieved in GTV, GTVn, and PTV were 79.5 Gy, 75.3 Gy, and 74.6 Gy, respectively. The median follow-up was 25 months, with 4 recurrences: 2 locoregional and 2 distant failures. All patients with recurrence had IMRT alone without chemotherapy. The 2-year locoregional control rate, distant metastases-free and disease-free survivals were 95.7%, 94.2%, and 93.1%, respectively. One treatment-related death caused by adjuvant chemotherapy occurred. The 2-year overall survival was 92.1%.
Conclusions: Dose escalation to 76 Gy in tumor is feasible with T3-T4 NPC and can be combined with chemotherapy. Initial results showed good local control and survival.