The dosimetric and clinical advantages of the GTV-CTV-PTV margins reduction by 6 mm in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: Significant acute and late toxicity reduction.

Abstract

PURPOSE

We aim to identify the dosimetric and clinical impact of reducing the total GTV-CTV-PTV margins in head-and-neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with definitive (chemo)radiation.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

The acute and late toxicity and outcomes of 155 consecutive patients treated between February 2017 and March 2019 with GTV-CTV-PTV margins of 9 mm were compared to those of 155 consecutive patients treated with total margin of 15 mm margin, before April 2015. All patients were treated with VMAT with daily-image guidance using CBCT.

RESULTS

Reducing the GTV-CTV-PTV by 6 mm resulted in significant reduction of total irradiated volume (PTV-total) by a median of 28.1% and significant reduction of doses to all salivary glands (largest reduction ipsilateral parotid gland; median -9.6 Gy) and constrictor muscle (-6.1 Gy) with subsequent reduction of the incidence of overall acute grade 3 toxicity (47.7% for 9 mm and 66.5% for 15 mm groups, p = 0.001), grade 3 mucositis (18.1% vs. 35.5%, p < 0.001) and feeding tube-dependency at the end of treatment (24.5% vs. 40%, p = 0.005). The incidence of late grade ≥ 2 xerostomia and dysphagia were also significantly lower in the 9 mm group (31.7% vs. 58.6% p < 0.001, and 15.4% vs. 26.7%, p = 0.04). The 2-year rates of loco-regional control, disease-free and overall survival were 78.8% vs.75.8%, 70.9% vs. 64.4%, and 83.8% vs. 67.6%, (p > 0.05, all).

CONCLUSION

Reduction of the total GTV-CTV-PTV margins from 15 to 9 mm in HNSCC significantly reduced the irradiated volumes and the dose to salivary glands and constrictor muscle with significant reduction of radiation-related toxicity. The loco-regional control rates of both groups were comparable.

More about this publication

Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology
  • Volume 168
  • Pages 16-22
  • Publication date 01-03-2022

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