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Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy with or without Chemotherapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: A Clinical Review

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Author(s): Nicola Caria | Jeremy Setton | Edward Shin | Nancy Lee

Journal: The Asia-Pacific Journal of Oncology & Hematology
ISSN 1759-6637

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 95;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: intensity-modulated radiotherapy | nasopharyngeal cancer | head and neck | chemotherapy

ABSTRACT
The introduction of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), a modern approach which permits the delivery of high doses to the primary tumor while adequately sparing the surrounding normal tissue, has led to progress in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). This advancement in radiation oncology, combined with the introduction of concomitant chemotherapy, has resulted in impressive improvements in local–regional control. Furthermore, the advent of IMRT has reduced the incidence of severe toxicities, such as xerostomia, associated with previous radiotherapy techniques. Nevertheless, distant metastases remain a significant threat to the overall survival of patients with NPC. The present review focuses its analysis on the role of IMRT in the treatment of NPC, including a discussion of radiotherapy technique, planning issues, imaging modalities, chemotherapy, treatment outcomes, and future directions.
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