Purpose: To determine whether the method or extent of construction of the high-dose clinical target volume (CTV) and high-dose planning target volume (PTV) in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for head-and-neck cancer are associated with an increased risk of locoregional failure. Materials and Methods: Patients with nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal, oral cavity, hypopharyngeal, or laryngeal squamous cell carcinomas treated definitively with IMRT were included. All patients without local relapse had a minimum follow-up of 12 months. Median follow-up for all patients was 24 months. Treatment plans of 85 available patients were reviewed, and the gross tumor volume (GTV) to PTV expansion method was estimated. Results: The GTVs were expanded volumetrically in 71 of 85 patients, by a median of 15 mm (range, 4-25 mm). An anatomic component to the expansion of GTV was used in 14 of 85 patients. Eighteen patients failed locoregionally, for an actuarial locoregional control rate of 77.2% at 2 years. There was no significant difference in locoregional control between patients with GTVs expanded volumetrically vs. those with a component of anatomic expansion. In patients with GTVs expanded volumetrically, no increase in risk of local failure was seen in patients with a total GTV expansion of ≤15 mm. Conclusion: In this retrospective study, there was not an increased risk of local failure using smaller margins or expanding GTVs volumetrically when treating head-and-neck cancer patients definitively with IMRT. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.