Analysis of Salivary Flow and Dose-Volume Modeling of Complication Incidence in Patients With Head-and-Neck Cancer Receiving Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy

Simona Marzi, Giuseppe Iaccarino, Katia Pasciuti, Antonella Soriani, Marcello Benassi, Giorgio Arcangeli, Giuseppe Giovinazzo, Michaela Benassi, Laura Marucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To investigate dose-volume effects of salivary flow and the functional recovery over time, using salivary function data and different models of normal tissue complication probability (NTCP). Methods and Materials: A total of 59 patients with head-and-neck cancer treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) were analyzed in the present study. The toxicity was evaluated using the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) scale and salivary flows, both unstimulated (USF) and stimulated (SSF). The assessments were done before radiotherapy (RT) and at 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after RT. Grade 3 toxicity was the primary endpoint. Analyses of toxicity incidence at 3, 6, and 12 months after RT were performed by both the Lyman-Kutcher-Burman (LKB) and relative seriality (S) models. Results: A significant correlation was found between the incidence of Grade 3 toxicity and the incidence of patients with a reduction in SSF to 50, assessed by the LKB model, was 21.4, 27.8, and 41.6 Gy at 3, 6, and 12 months after RT, respectively. The TD50, assessed by the S model, was 20.0, 26.3, and 40.0 Gy at 3, 6, and 12 months after RT, respectively. Conclusion: Recovery of salivary gland function vs. time after RT took place mostly within 1 year after RT. The RTOG Grade 3 was a reliable score to perform the NTCP modeling. The choice of NTCP model had no influence on the accuracy of predictions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1252-1259
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2009



  • Dose-volume effects
  • IMRT
  • Normal tissue complication probability
  • Salivary function
  • Xerostomia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation
  • Cancer Research

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