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Br J Radiol. 2012 May;85(1013):487-94. doi: 10.1259/bjr/85942136.

Clinical evaluation of intensity-modulated radiotherapy for head and neck cancers.

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  • 1Head and Neck Unit, Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, Surrey, UK.


Radiotherapy and surgery are the principal curative modalities in treatment of head and neck cancer. Conventional two-dimensional and three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy result in significant side effects and altered quality of life. Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) can spare the normal tissues, while delivering a curative dose to the tumour-bearing tissues. This article reviews the current role of IMRT in head and neck cancer from the point of view of normal tissue sparing, and also reviews the current published literature by individual head and neck cancer subsites. In addition, we briefly discuss the role of image guidance in head and neck IMRT, and future directions in this area.

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