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Functional Organ Preservation Achieved in Elderly Patient Using Image-Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT) at American Oncology Institute (AOI) in Imphal

Imphal, 14th May 2024 – American Oncology Institute (AOI) in Imphal has achieved a significant milestone in the treatment of an advanced laryngeal (throat) cancer in an elderly patient using state-of-the-art Image-Guided Radiotherapy (IGRT). This treatment preserved the larynx of a 76-year-old female, who presented with hoarseness of voice and pain in swallowing for three months, offering her a better quality of life without the severe side effects commonly associated with conventional radiation therapy.

The patient was initially referred by a head and neck onco-surgeon for further evaluation and treatment. Following a thorough review of routine investigations, physical examination, imaging, and biopsy, she was diagnosed with stage-III laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (throat cancer). The multidisciplinary team at AOI in Imphal discussed the feasibility of larynx (voice box) preservation with the patient and her family, focusing on the benefits of IGRT.

IGRT, a precision radiotherapy technique, was chosen for its ability to significantly reduce the dose to surrounding healthy tissues, thereby minimizing long-term side effects such as dry mouth, mucositis, difficulty swallowing, and myelopathy of the cervical spinal cord.

Dr Dhaneshor Sharma, Radiation Oncology at AOI, Imphal, elaborated on the procedure, "Our approach began with a comprehensive simulation process where the patient was immobilized in a supine position. We used a dedicated GE CT-Simulator to acquire CT images. Following international guidelines, we meticulously contoured the target volumes and organs at risk. The treatment planning was executed using the Eclipse treatment planning system. Remarkably, during the treatment period, the patient experienced a notable reduction in pain while swallowing and hoarseness of voice."

Post-treatment evaluations have shown excellent results. A physical examination and laryngoscopy performed three months after treatment completion revealed no residual growth in the larynx and neck. The patient reported no further complaints of hoarseness or swallowing difficulties. Six-month follow-up, CT imaging confirmed the absence of growth and significantly enlarged cervical lymph nodes.

Dr Amit Dhawan, Regional Chief Operating Officer at AOI, Imphal, commented on the success, "The successful outcome of this case highlights the effectiveness of advanced radiotherapy techniques like IGRT in treating complex cancers, especially in elderly patients. Our commitment to providing cutting-edge treatments has not only preserved the anatomical and functional integrity of the patient's larynx but also significantly improved her overall quality of life. We are dedicated to continually enhancing our treatment protocols to ensure the best possible outcomes for our patients."

The case highlights the efficacy of IGRT in achieving anatomical and functional preservation of the larynx in elderly patients with locally advanced laryngeal cancer. The treatment has led to excellent loco-regional disease control and a significant reduction in radiation therapy-related side effects.