PURPOSE: To apply recently developed predictive models for swallowing dysfunction to compare the predicted probabilities of swallowing dysfunction for standard intensity modulated radiotherapy (ST-IMRT) and swallowing sparing IMRT (SW-IMRT).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Thirty head and neck cancer patients who previously underwent radiotherapy for the bilateral neck were selected for this study. For each patient, ST-IMRT and SW-IMRT simultaneous integrated boost treatment plans were created. ST-IMRT treatment plan optimisation aimed at obtaining adequate target volume coverage and sparing of the parotid and submandibular glands as much as possible. Objectives for SW-IMRT were similar, with additional objectives to spare the organs at risk related to swallowing dysfunction (SWOARs). Dose-volume data with ST-IMRT and SW-IMRT and normal tissue complication probabilities for physician-rated and patient-rated swallowing dysfunction were calculated with recently developed predictive models.
RESULTS: All plans had adequate target volume coverage and dose to critical organs was within accepted limits. Sparing of parotid glands was similar for ST-IMRT and SW-IMRT. With SW-IMRT, the mean dose to the various SWOARs was reduced. Absolute dose values and dose reductions with SW-IMRT differed per patient and per SWOAR and depended on N stage and tumour location. The mean reduction in predicted physician-rated Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) grade 2-4 swallowing dysfunction was 9% (range, 3-20%). Mean reductions of the probability of patient-rated moderate to severe complaints with regard to the swallowing of solid food, soft food, liquid food and choking when swallowing were 8%, 2%, 1% and 1%, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS: New predictive models for swallowing dysfunction were applied to show potential reductions in physician and patient-rated swallowing dysfunction with IMRT that was specifically optimised to spare SWOARs.
- Head and neck cancer
- Swallowing dysfunction
- Normal tissue complication probability
- In silico study
- NECK-CANCER PATIENTS
- SQUAMOUS-CELL CARCINOMA
- ONCOLOGY GROUP RTOG
- CONCURRENT CHEMOTHERAPY
- ADVANCED HEAD