Advances and Challenges in Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

  • Qu, Song (Department of Radiation Oncology, the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Cancer Institute of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) ;
  • Liang, Zhong-Guo (Department of Radiation Oncology, the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Cancer Institute of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) ;
  • Zhu, Xiao-Dong (Department of Radiation Oncology, the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Cancer Institute of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)
  • Published : 2015.03.18


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is an endemic disease within specific regions in the world. Radiotherapy is the main treatment. In recent decades, intensity-modulated radiation therapy has undergone a rapid evolution. Compared with two-dimensional radiotherapy and/or three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy, evidence has shown it may improve quality of life and prognosis for patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma. In addition, helical tomotherapy is an emerging technology of intensity-modulated radiation therapy. Its superiority in dosimetric and clinical outcomes has been demonstrated when compared to traditional intensity-modulated radiation therapy. However, many challenges need to be overcome for intensity-modulated radiation therapy of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in the future. Issues such as the status of concurrent chemotherapy, updating of target delineation, the role of replanning during IMRT, the causes of the main local failure pattern require settlement. The present study reviews traditional intensity-modulated radiation therapy, helical tomotherapy, and new challenges in the management of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma;intensity-modulated radiotherapy;two-dimensional radiotherapy


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