A dosimetric evaluation of dose escalation for the radical treatment of locally advanced vulvar cancer by intensity-modulated radiation therapy

Monique C.W.M. Bloemers, Lorraine Portelance, Russell Ruo, William Parker, Luis Souhami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


The purpose of this planning study was to determine whether intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) reduces the radiation dose to organs at risk (OAR) when compared with 3D conventional radiation therapy (3D-CRT) in patients with vulvar cancer treated by irradiation. This study also investigated the use of sequential IMRT boost (seq-IMRT) and simultaneous integrated boost (SIB-IMRT) for dose escalation in the treatment of locally advanced vulvar cancer. Five vulvar cancer patients treated in the postoperative setting and 5 patients treated with definitive intent (def-group) were evaluated. For the postoperative group, 3D-CRT and IMRT plans to a total dose (TD) of 45 Gy were generated. For the def-group, 4 plans were generated: a 3D-CRT and an IMRT plan to a TD of 56.4 Gy, a SIB-IMRT plan to a TD of 56 Gy, and a SIB-IMRT with dose escalation (SIB-IMRT-esc): TD of 67.2 Gy. Mean dose and dose-volume histograms were compared using Student's t-test. IMRT significantly (all p < 0.05) reduced the Dmean, V30, and V40 for all OAR in the adjuvant setting. The V45 was also significantly reduced for all OAR except the bladder. For patients treated in the def-group, all IMRT techniques significantly reduced the Dmean, V40, and V45 for all OAR. The mean femur doses with SIB-IMRT and SIB-IMRT-esc were 47% and 49% lower compared with 3D-CRT. SIB-IMRT-esc reduced the doses to the OAR compared with seq-3D-CRT but increased the Dmax. for the small bowel, rectum, and bladder. IMRT reduces the dose to the OAR compared with 3D-CRT in patients with vulvar cancer receiving irradiation to a volume covering the vulvar region and nodal areas without compromising the dosimetric coverage of the target volume. IMRT for vulvar cancer is feasible and an attractive option for dose escalation studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-313
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Dosimetry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 6 2012
Externally publishedYes



  • Dose escalation
  • Intensity-modulated radiation therapy
  • Vulvar cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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