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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2004 May 1;59(1):21-7.

Primary tumor volume of nasopharyngeal carcinoma: prognostic significance for local control.

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Department of Clinical Oncology, Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Chai Wan, Hong Kong, China.



To study the prognostic significance of primary tumor volume on local control of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.


Between 1998 and 2001, 308 consecutive patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with radical intent were staged with MRI. On the basis of the extent of tumor infiltration outlined by a diagnostic radiologist, the gross tumor volume of the primary and involved retropharyngeal nodes (GTV-P) was delineated by a radiation oncologist for three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy to the nasopharyngeal region using the Helax-TMS Planning System. All patients were treated with 2 Gy daily to a total dose of 70 Gy in 6-7 weeks. Additionally, chemotherapy was given to 128 patients (42%).


The median GTV-P for the whole series was 22 cm(3) (range, 1.4-218 cm(3)). Although the GTV-P varied substantially within each T stage, the overall correlation between these two parameters was strongly significant (p <0.01), with the median GTV-P 2.7 cm(3) for T1, 13.2 cm(3) for T2, 28.1 cm(3) for T3, and 65.5 cm(3) for T4. With a median follow-up of 1.9 years (range, 0.1-3.9 years), the 3-year local failure-free rate was 87%. The 3-year local failure-free rate was 97% for patients with a GTV-P <15 cm(3) compared with 82% for those with a GTV-P > or =15 cm(3) (p <0.01). On multivariate analysis (with T stage as a covariate), GTV-P remained an independent prognostic factor for the local failure-free rate (hazard ratio, 1.01; 95% confidence interval, 1.00-1.02; p <0.01).


Our data suggested that GTV-P is a strongly significant factor for predicting local control of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The risk of local failure was estimated to increase by 1% for every 1 cm(3) increase in primary tumor volume.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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