Updating Photon-Based Normal Tissue Complication Probability Models for Pneumonitis in Patients With Lung Cancer Treated With Proton Beam Therapy

Varsha Jain, Anne G. H. Niezink, Melissa Frick, Abigail Doucette, Amberly Mendes, Charles B. Simone, Johannes A. Langendijk, Robin Wijsman, Steven J. Feigenberg, William Levin, Keith A. Cengel, Arjen van der Schaaf, Abigail T. Berman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Purpose: No validated models for predicting the risk of radiation pneumonitis (RP) with proton beam therapy (PBT) currently exist. Our goal was to externally validate and recalibrate multiple established photon-based normal tissue complication probability models for RP in a cohort with locally advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer treated with contemporary doses of chemoradiation using PBT. Methods and Materials: The external validation cohort consisted of 99 consecutive patients with locally advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer treated with chemoradiation using PBT. RP was retrospectively scored at 3 and 6 months posttreatment. We evaluated the performance of the photon Quantitative Analyses of Normal Tissue Effects in the Clinic (QUANTEC) pneumonitis model, the QUANTEC model adjusted for clinical risk factors, and the newer Netherlands updated QUANTEC model. A closed testing procedure was performed to test the need for model updating, either by recalibration-in-the-large (re-estimation of intercept), recalibration (re-estimation of intercept/slope), or model revision (re-estimation of all coefficients). Results: There were 21 events (21%) of ≥grade 2 RP. The closed testing procedure on the PBT data set did not detect major deviations between the models and the data and recommended adjustment of the intercept only for the photon-based Netherlands updated QUANTEC model (intercept update: –1.2). However, an update of the slope and revision of the model coefficients were not recommended by the closed testing procedure, as the deviations were not significant within the power of the data. Conclusions: The similarity between the dose-response relationship for PBT and photons for normal tissue complications has been an assumption until now. We demonstrate that the preexisting, widely used photon based models fit our PBT data well with minor modifications. These now-validated and updated normal tissue complication probability models can aid in individualizing selection of the most optimal treatment technique for a particular patient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e330-e338
Number of pages9
JournalPractical radiation oncology
Issue number5
Early online date13-May-2020
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2020



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