Skin DVHs predict cutaneous toxicity in Head and Neck Cancer patients treated with Tomotherapy

M. Mori, G. M. Cattaneo, I. Dell'Oca, S. Foti, R. Calandrino, N. G. Di Muzio, C. Fiorino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To explore the association between planning skin dose-volume data and acute cutaneous toxicity after Radio–chemotherapy for Head and Neck (HN) cancer patients. Methods: Seventy HN patients were treated with Helical Tomotherapy (HT) with radical intent (SIB technique: 54/66 Gy to PTV1/PTV2 in 30fr) ± chemotherapy superficial body layer 2 mm thick (SL2) was delineated on planning CT. CTCAE v4.0 acute skin toxicity data were available. Absolute average Dose-Volume Histograms (DVH) of SL2 were calculated for patients with severe (G3) and severe/moderate (G3/G2) skin acute toxicities. Differences against patients with none/mild toxicity (G0/G1) were analyzed to define the most discriminative regions of SL2 DVH; univariable and multivariable logistic analyses were performed on DVH values, CTV volume, age, sex, chemotherapy. Results: Sixty-one % of patients experienced G2/G3 toxicity (rate of G3 = 19%). Differences in skin DVHs were significant in the range 53-68Gy (p-values: 0.005–0.01). V56/V64 were the most predictive parameters for G2/G3 (OR = 1.12, 95%CI = 1.03–1.21, p = 0.001) and G3 (OR = 1.13, 95%CI = 1.01–1.26, p = 0.027) with best cut-off of 7.7cc and 2.7cc respectively. The logistic model for V56 was well calibrated being both, slope and R2, close to 1. Average V64 were 2.2cc and 6cc for the two groups (G3 vs G0-G2 toxicity); the logistic model for V64 was quite well calibrated, with a slope close to 1 and R2 equal to 0.60. Conclusion: SL2 DVH is associated with the risk of acute skin toxicity. Constraining V64 < 3cc (equivalent to a 4x4cm2 skin surface) should keep the risk of G3 toxicity below or around 10%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-141
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica Medica
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • Acute
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • IMRT
  • Predictive models
  • Skin dose
  • Skin toxicities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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