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Keywords:

  • cancer;
  • tumor volume;
  • CT;
  • squamous cell cancer;
  • head and neck;
  • larynx

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Prior studies have determined that macroscopic (“gross”) tumor volume (GTV), as calculated from pretreatment computer tomography (CT), was capable of predicting local control in squamous cell carcinoma arising in different subsites in the head and neck in patients who were treated with nonsurgical organ-preservation therapy. The majority of these studies were single-institution, retrospective investigations. Consequently, there has been concern that GTV measurements may not be reproducible by different readers at different institutions. The objective of the current study was to measure the interobserver reliability for GTV measurements for squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx (SGSCCA) performed by different readers at different institutions.

METHODS

Eight experienced readers (4 neuroradiologists and 4 radiation oncologists) from different institutions independently measured the pretreatment GTV of 20 patients with SGSCCA. The CT scans were obtained from patients entered into the definitive radiation therapy arm of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group protocol 91-11, who had supraglottic carcinoma and underwent pretreatment CT scans of the neck. Statistical analysis focused on interobserver reliability as measured by the intraclass correlation coefficient.

RESULTS

The intraclass correlation coefficient was 0.81 (95% lower confidence bound, 0.71). This value was interpreted as “excellent.”

CONCLUSIONS

GTV measurements were reliable and reproducible when performed by neuroradiologists and radiation oncologists who were experienced in the interpretation of CT scans of the extracranial head and neck in patients with SGSCCA. The result implied that the correlation between GTV and local control should be reproducible across institutions. Cancer 2005. © 2005 American Cancer Society.