Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 2007 Feb 21;264(2):169-74. Epub 2006 Sep 21.
Biomedical Engineering Research Centre, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Nanyang Avenue, Singapore, Singapore.
Recent findings show that tumor volume is a significant prognostic factor for the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). The inclusion of tumor volume as an additional prognostic factor in the UICC TNM classification system was suggested; however, how tumor volume could possibly be incorporated is still unexplored. In this paper, we report a quantitative analysis on the relationship between NPC tumor volume and T-classification, using the data from 206 NPC patients. By T-classification and semi-automatic tumor volume measurement, the difference in tumor volumes among the various TNM T-classification groups was examined. In addition, a statistics-based analysis scheme, which used the T-classification as the "gold standard", was proposed to classify NPC tumors into volume-based groups to explore the possible links. The results show that NPC tumor volume has positive correlation with advancing T-classification groups and significant difference existed in the distribution of T-classification among various volume-based groups (P < 0.001). By the proposed statistical scheme, tumor volume could be included as an additional prognostic factor in the TNM framework, following validation studies.