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Intensity-modulated radiation therapy in gynecologic malignancies

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Opinion statement

Radiation therapy occupies an important role in the treatment of gynecologic malignancies. Unfortunately, traditional approaches result in the irradiation of large volumes of normal tissues exposing patients to many toxicities and precluding dose escalation in select patients. A novel approach to the planning and delivery of radiation therapy, known as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), has been introduced. Unlike conventional approaches, IMRT conforms the prescription dose to the shape of the target in three dimensions, thus sparing the surrounding normal tissues. Multiple studies have demonstrated the clear superiority of IMRT planning in these patients in terms of normal tissue sparing. Promising clinical results have also been published, suggesting that IMRT reduces the incidence of acute and chronic toxicity in these women. Ongoing studies are focusing on tumor control and patient outcome. Although further work is needed, these results suggest that IMRT may represent a major advancement in the planning and delivery of radiation therapy in patients with gynecologic malignancies.

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Salama, J.K., Roeske, J.C., Mehta, N. et al. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy in gynecologic malignancies. Curr. Treat. Options in Oncol. 5, 97–108 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11864-004-0042-2

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