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Volume 20, Number 2, 2015

Is dose escalation achievable for esophageal carcinoma?

Laure Vieillevigne, Marie Vidal, Françoise Izar, Michel Rives



To investigate the feasibility of dose escalation using rapid arc (RA) and Helical Tomotherapy (HT) for patients with upper, middle and distal esophageal carcinomas, even for large tumor volumes.


In esophageal cancer, for patients with exclusive radio-chemotherapy, local disease control remains poor. Planning study with dose escalation was done for two sophisticated modulated radiotherapy techniques: Rapid arc against Tomotherapy.

Materials and methods

Six patients treated with a RA simultaneous integrated boost (SIB) of 60 Gy were re-planned for RA and HT techniques with a SIB dose escalated to 70 Gy. Dose volume histogram statistics, conformity indices and homogeneity indices were analyzed. For a given set of normal tissue constraints, the capability of each treatment modality to increase the GTV dose to 70 Gy was investigated.


Either HT or VMAT may be used to escalate the dose delivered in esophageal tumors while maintaining the spinal cord, lung and heart doses within tolerance. Adequate target coverage was achieved by both techniques. Typically, HT achieved better lung sparing and PTV coverage than did RA.


Dose escalation for esophageal cancer becomes clinically feasible with the use of RA and HT. This promising result could be explored in a carefully controlled clinical study which considered normal tissue complications and tumor control as endpoints.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2015; 20(2) : 134-140

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