Correlation between MR imaging-derived nasopharyngeal carcinoma tumor volume and TNM system.

Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 2006 Jan 3;64(1):72-6. Epub 2005 Nov 3.

Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore.

Purpose: To measure nasopharyngeal carcinoma tumor volume based on magnetic resonance images using a validated semiautomated measurement methodology and correlate tumor volume with TNM T classification.

Methods And Materials: The study population consisted of 206 consecutive nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients who had magnetic resonance imaging staging scans. Tumor volume was measured using a semisupervised knowledge-based fuzzy clustering algorithm. Patients were divided into 4 groups according to TNM T classification. The difference in tumor volumes among the various TNM T-classification groups was examined.

Results: The mean tumor volume in each T-classification group is as follows: T1, 8.6 mL +/- 5.0 (standard deviation [SD]); T2, 18.1 mL +/- 8.1 (SD); T3, 25.8 mL +/- 14.1 (SD); and T4, 36.2 mL +/- 18.9 (SD). The mean tumor volume increased significantly with advancing T classification (p < 0.0001). Tumor volume in a more advanced T group was significantly larger than that in an adjacent early T group (p < 0.01).

Conclusion: Validated magnetic resonance imaging-based tumor volume shows positive correlation between tumor volume and advancing T-classification groups. It may be possible to incorporate tumor volume as an additional prognostic factor into the existing TNM system.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2005.06.027DOI Listing
January 2006

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