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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Intensity-modulated radiotherapy in the treatment of gynaecological cancers

Review published: 2012.

Bibliographic details: D'Souza DP, Rumble RB, Fyles A, Yaremko B, Warde P, Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy Indications Expert Panel.  Intensity-modulated radiotherapy in the treatment of gynaecological cancers. Clinical Oncology 2012; 24(7): 499-507. [PubMed: 22703725]


Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) is a newer method of radiotherapy that uses intensity-modulated beams that can provide multiple intensity levels for any single beam direction and any single source position allowing concave dose distributions and dose gradients with narrower margins than those possible using conventional methods. IMRT is ideal for treating complex treatment volumes and avoiding close proximity organs at risk that may be dose limiting and provides increased tumour control through an escalated dose and reduces normal tissue complications through organ at risk sparing. Given the potential advantages of IMRT and the availability of IMRT-enabled treatment planning systems and linear accelerators, IMRT has been introduced in a number of disease sites. This systematic review examined the evidence for IMRT in the treatment of gynaecological cancers to quantify the potential benefits of this new technology and to make recommendations for radiation treatment programmes considering adopting this technique. Findings were based on a review of four cohort studies, one of which was prospective, including a total of 619 patients. If reducing acute and chronic toxicity are the main outcomes of interest, then IMRT may be considered over three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy for women with gynaecological cancers; if disease-related outcomes are the main outcomes of interest, there are insufficient data to recommend IMRT over three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy. Future research should focus on prospective multicentre studies reporting on both acute and chronic toxicity as well as survival and recurrence. Dose escalation studies should be carried out to investigate the effect of higher doses on disease.

Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2014 University of York.

PMID: 22703725

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