It’s great to modulate.
Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) has become the standard for most definitive radiation treatments, but just because we can do something doesn’t always mean we should. In lieu of assumptions, this interesting prospective study took the effort to measure the impact of radiation treatment modality on quality of life among patients receiving head and neck radiation as measured by a validated questionnaire. Among 570 across 13 centers, when compared to those receiving 3D-treatment (44%), those receiving IMRT (27%) enjoyed significantly better quality of life while those receiving 2D-treatment suffered significantly worse. What’s more, there were significantly more >5-day treatment interruptions with 2D (69%) than with 3D (50%) or IMRT (43%), which likely explains the significantly worse survival following 2D-treatment. TBL: Data confirms commonsense in that more conformal radiation treatments to the head and neck improve quality of life and even survival. | Santos, Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2020