Complication probability model for subcutaneous fibrosis based on published data of partial and whole breast irradiation

Michele Avanzo, Joseph Stancanello, Marco Trovò, Rajesh Jena, Mario Roncadin, Mauro G. Trovò, Elvira Capra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To extend the application of current radiation therapy (RT) based normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) models of radiation-induced fibrosis (RIF) of the breast to include the effects of fractionation, inhomogeneous dose, incomplete recovery, and time after the end of radiotherapy in partial breast irradiation (PBI). Materials and methods: An NTCP Lyman model with biologically effective uniform dose (BEUD) with and without a correction for the effect of incomplete repair was used. The time to occurrence of RIF was also taken into account. The radiobiological parameters were determined by fitting incidences of moderate/severe RIF in published randomized studies on RT of the breast. The NTCP model was used to calculate the risk of toxicity in 35 patients treated with intensity modulated, non-accelerated PBI and the result was compared with observed incidence of RIF. Results: With α/β fixed at 3Gy the parameters of the model without correction for incomplete repair extracted from fitting were: 50% complication probability biologically effective dose BEUD50 = 107.2 Gy (95%CI = 95.9-118.6 Gy), volume parameter n = 0.06 (95%CI = 0-0.23), and slope of dose response m = 0.22, (95%CI = 0.20-0.23). After including the correction for incomplete repair with repair halftime for subcutaneous tissue of τ = 4.4 h we obtained BEUD50 = 105.8 Gy (95%CI = 96.9-114.6Gy), n = 0.15 (95%CI = 0-0.33), m = 0.22 (95%CI = 0.20-0.23). Average NTCP predicted by these models, 4.3% and 2.0% respectively, offered a good agreement with RIF incidence in our patients, 5.7%, after an average follow-up of 12 months. Conclusion: The NTCP models of RIF, incorporating the effects of fractionation, volume effect, and latency of toxicity look promising to model PBI. Clinical validation from a prospective PBI treatment study is under development and will help test this preliminary result.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-306
Number of pages11
JournalPhysica Medica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Biological effects of ionizing radiation
  • Breast tumour
  • EUD
  • NTCP
  • Partial breast irradiation
  • Radiation fibrosis
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiobiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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