BACKGROUND. Treatment outcomes for stage III and IV oropharyngeal carcinoma treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and concurrent chemotherapy without prior surgical resection were reviewed.
METHODS. Between April 2000 and September 2004, 71 patients underwent IMRT concurrent with chemotherapy without prior surgical resection for stage III and TV oropharyngeal carcinoma. Chemotherapy was platinum based. The gross tumor volume (GTV) received 70 Gy in 2.12 Gy per fraction. The high-risk clinical tumor volume (CTV) received 59.4 Gy in 1.80 Gy per fraction, and the low-risk CTV received 54 Gy in 1.64 Gy per fraction.
RESULTS. With a median follow-up of 33 months, the 3-year local, regional, and locoregional progression-free probabilities were 94%, 94%, and 90%, respectively. The 3-year overall survival estimate was 83%. Locoregional failures occurred in the GTV in 7 patients. Acute grade 3 or 4 toxicity developed in 35 patients. A feeding gastrostomy was placed in 25 patients. Late xerostomia was grade 0 in 16 patients, grade I in 31 patients, and grade 2 in 24 patients at last follow-up. No patients experienced grade 3 or 4 late toxicity, except for I who developed osteoradionecrosis of the mandible.
CONCLUSIONS. Excellent local and regional control was achieved with IMRT and concurrent chemotherapy without prior surgical resection in the treatment of stage III and IV oropharyngeal carcinoma. Significant sparing of the parotid glands and other critical normal tissues was possible using IMRT with moderate acute toxicities and minimal severe late effects.