Background: To compare the dosimetric coverage of target volumes and organs at risk in the radicaltreatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) between intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and threedimensionalconformal radiotherapy (3DCRT). Materials and
Methods: Data from 10 consecutive patientstreated with IMRT from June-October 2011 in Penang General Hospital were collected retrospectively foranalysis. For each patient, dose volume histograms were generated for both the IMRT and 3DCRT plans usinga total dose of 70Gy. Comparison of the plans was accomplished by comparing the target volume coverage (5measures) and sparing of organs at risk (17 organs) for each patient using both IMRT and 3DCRT. The meansof each comparison target volume coverage measures and organs at risk measures were obtained and testedfor statistical significance using the paired Student t-test.
Results: All 5 measures for target volume coverageshowed marked dosimetric superiority of IMRT over 3DCRT. V70 and V66.5 for PTV70 showed an absoluteimprovement of 39.3% and 24.1% respectively. V59.4 and V56.4 for PTV59.4 showed advantages of 18.4% and16.4%. Moreover, the mean PTV70 dose revealed a 5.1 Gy higher dose with IMRT. Only 4 out of 17 organsat risk showed statistically significant difference in their means which were clinically meaningful between theIMRT and 3DCRT techniques. IMRT was superior in sparing the spinal cord (less 5.8Gy), V30 of right parotid(less 14.3%) and V30 of the left parotid (less 13.1%). The V55 of the left cochlea was lower with 3DCRT (less44.3%).
Conclusions: IMRT is superior to 3DCRT due to its dosimetric advantage in target volume coveragewhile delivering acceptable doses to organs at risk. A total dose of 70Gy with IMRT should be considered as astandard of care for radical treatment of NPC.