Purpose: To retrospectively review the outcomes of our patients with newly diagnosed nondisseminated nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy using a whole-field simultaneous integrated-boost technique.
Methods and materials: A total of 175 patients treated with WF-SIB between mid-2004 and 2005 were eligible for study inclusion. The distribution of disease by stage was Stage IA in 10.9%, Stage IIA in 2.3%, Stage IIB in 21.7%, Stage III in 41.1%, Stage IVA in 14.9%, and Stage IVB in 9.1%. Of the 175 patients, 2 (1.2%), 10 (5.7%), and 163 (93.1%) had World Health Organization type I, II, and III histologic features, respectively. We prescribed 70 Gy, 60 Gy, and 54 Gy delivered in 33 fractions within 6.5 weeks at the periphery of three planning target volumes (PTV; PTV70, PTV60, and PTV54, respectively). Of the 175 patients, 46 with early T-stage disease received a brachytherapy boost, and 127 with advanced local or regional disease received chemotherapy.
Results: The median follow-up period was 34 months. The overall 3-year local failure-free survival, regional failure-free survival, distant failure-free survival, and overall survival rate was 93.6%, 93.3%, 86.6%, and 87.2%, respectively. Cox regression analysis showed Stage N2-N3 disease (p = .029) and PTV (p = .024) to be independent factors predicting a greater risk of distant failure and poor overall survival, respectively. Grade 3 acute mucositis/pharyngitis occurred in 23.4% of patients, and Stage T4 disease was the only significant predictor of mucositis/pharyngitis (p = .021).
Conclusion: Whole-field simultaneous integrated-boost intensity-modulated radiotherapy with a dose >70 Gy achieved excellent locoregional control, without an excess incidence of severe, acute mucositis/pharyngitis, in the present study. Strategies for using such highly conformal treatment for patients with a large tumor and late N-stage disease are potential areas of investigation for future studies.