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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2007 Mar 1;67(3):691-702. Epub 2006 Dec 8.

Treatment of nasal cavity and paranasal sinus cancer with modern radiotherapy techniques in the postoperative setting--the MSKCC experience.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.



To perform a retrospective analysis of patients with paranasal sinus (PNS) cancer treated with postoperative radiotherapy (RT) at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.


Between January 1987 and July 2005, 85 patients with PNS and nasal cavity cancer underwent postoperative RT. Most patients had squamous cell carcinoma (49%; n = 42), T4 tumors (52%; n = 36), and the maxillary sinus (53%; n = 45) as the primary disease site. The median radiation dose was 63 Gy. Of the 85 patients, 76 underwent CT simulation and 53 were treated with either three-dimensional conformal RT (27%; n = 23) or intensity-modulated RT (35%; n = 30). Acute and late toxicities were scored according to the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group radiation morbidity scoring criteria.


With a median follow-up for surviving patients of 60 months, the 5-year estimates of local progression-free, regional progression-free, distant metastasis-free, disease-free, and overall survival rates were 62%, 87%, 82%, 55%, and 67%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, squamous cell histology and cribriform plate involvement predicted for an increased likelihood of local recurrence, and squamous cell histologic features predicted for worse overall survival. None of the patients who underwent CT simulation and were treated with modern techniques developed a Grade 3-4 late complication of the eye.


Complete surgical resection followed by adjuvant RT is an effective and safe approach in the treatment of PNS cancer. Emerging tools, such as three-dimensional conformal treatment and, in particular, intensity-modulated RT for PNS tumors, may minimize the occurrence of late complications associated with conventional RT techniques. Local recurrence remains a significant problem.

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