Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2010 Aug 1;77(5):1380-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2009.07.1687. Epub 2009 Nov 26.

Carotid-sparing intensity-modulated radiotherapy for early-stage squamous cell carcinoma of the true vocal cord.

Author information

  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida, USA.



To compare radiation doses to carotid arteries among various radiotherapy techniques for treatment of early-stage squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the true vocal cords.


Five patients were simulated using computed tomography (CT). Clinical and planning target volumes (PTV) were created for bilateral and unilateral stage T1 vocal cord cancers. Planning risk volumes for the carotid arteries and spinal cord were delineated. For each patient, three treatment plans were designed for bilateral and unilateral target volumes: opposed laterals (LATS), three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT), and intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), for a total of 30 plans. More than 95% of the PTV received the prescription dose (63Gy at 2.25 Gy per treatment).


Carotid dose was lowest with IMRT. With a bilateral vocal cord target, the median carotid dose was 10Gy with IMRT vs. 25 Gy with 3DCRT and 38 Gy with LATS (p < 0.05); with a unilateral target, the median carotid dose was 4 Gy with IMRT vs. 19 Gy with 3DCRT and 39 Gy with LATS (p < 0.05). The dosimetric tradeoff with IMRT is a small area of high dose in the PTV. The worst heterogeneity results were at a maximum point dose of 80 Gy (127%) in a unilateral target that was close to the carotid.


There is no question that IMRT can reduce the dose to the carotid arteries in patients with early-stage vocal cord cancer. The question is whether the potential advantage of reducing the carotid dose outweighs the risk of tumor recurrence due to contouring errors and organ motion and the risk of complications from dose heterogeneity.

Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk