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Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) in the Treatment of Squamous Carcinoma of the Oropharynx: An Overview | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 1948-5956

Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy
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Research Article

Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) in the Treatment of Squamous Carcinoma of the Oropharynx: An Overview

Sourav Guha*, Charles G Kelly, Rajdeep Guha, Rimpa Achari, Indranil Mallick, Vinidh Paleri, Alastair J Munro and Sanjoy Chatterjee

Radiation Oncologist, Tata Medical Center, Kolkata, India

*Corresponding Author:
Dr. Sourav Guha, MD
Radiation Oncologist
Tata Medical Center
Kolkata, India
Tel: 09903156562
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: March 05, 2012; Accepted date: March 30, 2012; Published date: April 02, 2012

Citation: Guha S, Kelly CG, Guha R, Achari R, Mallick I, et al. (2012) Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT) in the Treatment of Squamous Carcinoma of the Oropharynx: An Overview. J Cancer Sci Ther 4: 077-083. doi:10.4172/1948-5956.1000115

Copyright: © 2012 Guha S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


Background: Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy (IMRT) is being used increasingly for the radical treatment of oropharyngeal cancers. We have reviewed the evidence and summarised the data to enable readers to decide whether the dosimetric advantages of IMRT have been translated into clinical benefit in oropharyngeal cancer treatment.

Methods: We searched Medline and the Cochrane library for published studies investigating the role of IMRT in reducing rates of xerostomia, osteoradionecrosis and difficulties with swallowing.

Results: Despite heterogeneity in the assessment of xerostomia following radiotherapy, 20 out of the 22 studies reported lower xerostomia rates following parotid-sparing IMRT. There is only limited information on the consequences of sparing dose to the submandibular gland and emerging clinical information on the benefits of reducing dose to the pharyngeal constrictor muscles. Rates of osteoradionecrosis are lower with IMRT.

Conclusion: Rates of xerostomia are lower with IMRT than with conventional radiotherapy techniques. Prospective evaluation of IMRT techniques to assess whether lower doses to the submandibular glands and constrictor muscles are associated with clinical benefit is essential. Although there appear to be lower rates of osteonecrosis with IMRT, pre treatment evaluation of dental status and maintenance of dental hygiene remain important.


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