Purpose: To analyze whether local tumor control in advanced nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) can be optimized by boosting the primary dose by endocavitary brachytherapy (EBT). Methods and Materials: To study the role of EBT, three data sets on NPC, that is, the "Vienna", "Rotterdam," and "Amsterdam" series, with a total number of 411 advanced NPC patients, were available. The Rotterdam series consisted of 72 patients (34 T1,2N+ and 38 T3,4N0,+) and were treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by external beam radiotherapy (dose 70/2. Gy). After 70/2. Gy, a boost was applied by EBT (in case of T1,2N+) or stereotactic radiation (in case of T3,4 tumors). The Amsterdam (Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital/The Netherlands Cancer Institute) series consisted of 76 patients (40 T1,2N+ and 36 T3,4N0,+) and were irradiated to a dose of 70/2. Gy with concomitant chemotherapy. No second boost by EBT was applied. Results: In the case of T1,2N+ tumors, the local relapse rate (LRR) was significantly smaller if a boost was applied, that is, 0% (0/34, EBT boost) vs. 14% (14/102, no EBT boost) (p= 0.023). For the T3,4 tumors, an LRR of 10% (4/38, EBT or stereotactic radiation boost) vs. 15% (17/111, no boost) was found (p= 0.463). Conclusions: In the case of advanced NPC (T1,2N+ vs. T3,4N+,0), for early T-stages (T1,2N+), an EBT boost seems an excellent way to deliver highly conformal high doses of radiation to the nasopharynx, with high local control rates. For advanced T-stages (T3,4N+,0), the reduction in LRR (10% vs. 15%) was not significant (p= 0.463).

Boost irradiation, Brachytherapy, Endocavitary, Head and neck cancer, Nasopharynx, Prognostic factor
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brachy.2012.06.001, hdl.handle.net/1765/63607
Department of Radiation Oncology

Levendag, P.C, Keskin-Cambay, F, de Pan, C, Idzes, M.H.M, Wildeman, M, Noever, I, … Teguh, D.N. (2013). Local control in advanced cancer of the nasopharynx: Is a boost dose by endocavitary brachytherapy of prognostic significance?. Brachytherapy, 12(1), 84–89. doi:10.1016/j.brachy.2012.06.001