Objective: To evaluate volumetric changes of parotid glands (PGs) during intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in head and neck cancer patients. Methods: During IMRT all patients underwent kilovolt cone-beam CT (CBCT) scans to verify the set-up positioning in a protocol study. On each CBCT scan, the PGs were retrospectively contoured and evaluated with a dose-volume histogram. Results: From February to June 2011, 10 patients were enrolled. 140 CBCT scans were registered (280 PGs): for each patient, a median of 14 CBCT scans were performed (range 14-16). At the start of radiation, the average volume for ipsilateral PGs (iPGs) was 18.77 ml (range 12.9-31.2 ml), whereas for contralateral PGs (cPGs) it was 16.63 ml (range 8.3-28.7 ml). At the last CBCT scan, the average volume loss was 43.5% and 44.0% for the iPG and cPG, respectively. When we analysed the percentage of volume loss, we observed that the volume decreased by linear regression ( r2=0.92 for iPG; r 2=0.91 for cPG), with an average volume loss rate of 1.5% per day for both PGs. During the third week of treatment the volume of both PGs reduced by 24-30%. Conclusion: Our data show that, during IMRT, the shrinkage of PGs should be taken into account. A replan could be indicated in the third week of radiotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging