Multivariate normal tissue complication probability modeling of gastrointestinal toxicity after external beam radiotherapy for localized prostate cancer

Laura Cella, Vittoria D'Avino, Raffaele Liuzzi, Manuel Conson, Francesca Doria, Adriana Faiella, Filomena Loffredo, Marco Salvatore, Roberto Pacelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The risk of radio-induced gastrointestinal (GI) complications is affected by several factors other than the dose to the rectum such as patient characteristics, hormonal or antihypertensive therapy, and acute rectal toxicity. Purpose of this work is to study clinical and dosimetric parameters impacting on late GI toxicity after prostate external beam radiotherapy (RT) and to establish multivariate normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) model for radiation-induced GI complications.Methods: A total of 57 men who had undergone definitive RT for prostate cancer were evaluated for GI events classified using the RTOG/EORTC scoring system. Their median age was 73 years (range 53-85). The patients were assessed for GI toxicity before, during, and periodically after RT completion. Several clinical variables along with rectum dose-volume parameters (Vx) were collected and their correlation to GI toxicity was analyzed by Spearman's rank correlation coefficient (Rs). Multivariate logistic regression method using resampling techniques was applied to select model order and parameters for NTCP modeling. Model performance was evaluated through the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC).Results: At a median follow-up of 30 months, 37% (21/57) patients developed G1-2 acute GI events while 33% (19/57) were diagnosed with G1-2 late GI events. An NTCP model for late mild/moderate GI toxicity based on three variables including V65 (OR = 1.03), antihypertensive and/or anticoagulant (AH/AC) drugs (OR = 0.24), and acute GI toxicity (OR = 4.3) was selected as the most predictive model (Rs = 0.47, p <0.001; AUC = 0.79). This three-variable model outperforms the logistic model based on V65 only (Rs = 0.28, p <0.001; AUC = 0.69).Conclusions: We propose a logistic NTCP model for late GI toxicity considering not only rectal irradiation dose but also clinical patient-specific factors. Accordingly, the risk of G1-2 late GI increases as V65 increases, it is higher for patients experiencing previous acute toxicity and it is lower for patients who take AH/AC drugs. The developed NTCP model could represent a potentially useful tool to be used in prospective trial and for comparison among different RT techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number221
JournalRadiation Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 23 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Medicine(all)


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