BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Recently, a comprehensive xerostomia prediction model was published, based on baseline xerostomia, mean dose to parotid glands (PG) and submandibular glands (SMG). Previously, PET imaging biomarkers (IBMs) of PG were shown to improve xerostomia prediction. Therefore, this study aimed to explore the potential improvement of the additional PET-IBMs from both PG and SMG to the recent comprehensive xerostomia prediction model (i.e., the reference model).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Totally, 540 head and neck cancer patients were split into training and validation cohorts. PET-IBMs from the PG and SMG, were selected using bootstrapped forward selection based on the reference model. The IBMs from both the PG and SMG with the highest selection frequency were added to the reference model, resulting in a PG-IBM model and a SMG-IBM model which were combined into a composite model. Model performance was assessed using the area under the curve (AUC). Likelihood ratio test compared the predictive performance between the reference model and models including IBMs.

RESULTS: The final selected PET-IBMs were 90 th percentile of the PG SUV and total energy of the SMG SUV. The additional two PET-IBMs in the composite model improved the predictive performance of the reference model significantly. The AUC of the reference model and the composite model were 0.67 and 0.69 in the training cohort, and 0.71 and 0.73 in the validation cohort, respectively.

CONCLUSION: The composite model including two additional PET-IBMs from PG and SMG improved the predictive performance of the reference xerostomia model significantly, facilitating a more personalized prediction approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110319
Number of pages7
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Early online date1-May-2024
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2024


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