Physical and Radiobiological Evaluation of Accelerated Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy for Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer and Comparison with Short-Term Clinical Outcomes

Document Type : Research Articles


1 Department of Radiation Physics, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, India.

2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bangalore, India.

3 Department of Physics and Engineering, University of District of Columbia, Washington DC, USA.

4 Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA.


Objective: The present study aims to evaluate the accelerated intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) of head
and neck (HandN) treatments using physical indices and radiobiological models with its clinical correlation using
histogram analysis in radiation therapy (HART). The radiobiological evaluation in terms of tumor control probability
(TCP) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) indices were compared with acute toxicity. Materials and
Methods: A total of twenty patients with stage III and IV of HandN cases treated with accelerated IMRT using 6MV
photons were chosen for the study. Using HART software, physical indices of the IMRT plans have been defined by
universal plan indices (UPI’s) which summarize the various recognized plan indices. The overall quality factor (QF)
of a plan was determined by a linear combination of all indices in UPI set. The clinical outcomes in terms of the acute
toxicity like dysphagia and xerostomia were compared with NTCP values of the OAR calculated from HART software.
Results: The mean QF and the mean Poisson TCP index was found to be 0.993±0.02 and 0.86 ±0.02 respectively. The
mean JT Lyman NTCP index for bilateral parotid, constrictors, and larynx were found to be 0.23±0.14, 0.30±0.17 and
0.22±0.15 respectively. The acute toxicities in terms of severity of xerostomia and dysphagia have shown a moderate
correlation with NTCP values of bilateral parotids, constrictors, and larynx, respectively. Conclusion: The mean
QF based on UPI was found to be close to unity, which correlates with being a better IMRT plan. The present study
suggested the existence of a moderate correlation between the calculated NTCP values and their respective severities
of the organ at risk (OAR’s). Accelerated IMRT with chemotherapy is a clinically feasible option in the treatment
of locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with encouraging initial tumor response and
acceptable acute toxicities.


Main Subjects