Intensity Modulated Proton Beam Therapy versus Volumetric Modulated Arc Therapy for Patients with Nasopharyngeal Cancer: A Propensity Score-Matched Study

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jul 16;13(14):3555. doi: 10.3390/cancers13143555.


(1) Background: We compared the outcomes of patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with IMPT and VMAT. (2) Methods: We performed a retrospective propensity score matching analysis (1:1) of patients treated with IMPT (years: 2016-2018) and VMAT (2014-2018). Survival was estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to identify the independent predictors of survival. Binary toxicity endpoint analyses were performed using a Cox model and logistic regression. (3) Results: Eighty patients who received IMPT and VMAT were included. The median follow-up time was 24.1 months in the IMPT group. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were not statistically different between the two groups but potentially better in IMPT group. In multivariate analysis, advanced N-stage and body weight loss (BWL; >7%) during radiotherapy were associated with decreased PFS. The IMPT group had significantly less requirement for nasogastric (NG) tube placement and BWL during treatment. The mean oral cavity dose was the only predictive factor in stepwise regression analysis, and IMPT required a significantly lower mean dose. However, IMPT increased the grade 3 radiation dermatitis. (4) Conclusions: IMPT is associated with reduced rates of NG tube insertion and BWL through reducing oral mean dose, potentially producing better oncologic outcomes.

Keywords: IMPT; VMAT; nasopharyngeal cancer.