Replanning during intensity modulated radiation therapy improved quality of life in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2013 Jan 1;85(1):e47-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2012.09.033. Epub 2012 Nov 1.


Purpose: Anatomic and dosimetric changes have been reported during intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of replanning on quality of life (QoL) and clinical outcomes during the course of IMRT for NPC patients.

Methods and materials: Between June 2007 and August 2011, 129 patients with NPC were enrolled. Forty-three patients received IMRT without replanning, while 86 patients received IMRT replanning after computed tomography (CT) images were retaken part way through therapy. Chinese versions of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 and Head and Neck Quality of Life Questionnaire 35 were completed before treatment began and at the end of treatment and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after the completion of treatment. Overall survival (OS) data were compared using the Kaplan-Meier method.

Results: IMRT replanning had a profound impact on the QoL of NPC patients, as determined by statistically significant changes in global QoL and other QoL scales. Additionally, the clinical outcome comparison indicates that replanning during IMRT for NPC significantly improved 2-year local regional control (97.2% vs 92.4%, respectively, P=.040) but did not improve 2-year OS (89.8% vs 82.2%, respectively, P=.475).

Conclusions: IMRT replanning improves QoL as well as local regional control in patients with NPC. Future research is needed to determine the criteria for replanning for NPC patients undergoing IMRT.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma
  • Chemoradiotherapy / methods
  • China
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Language
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / mortality
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Burden / radiation effects