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Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol). 2007 Oct;19(8):604-13. Epub 2007 Aug 13.

Target volume definition for head and neck intensity modulated radiotherapy: pre-clinical evaluation of PARSPORT trial guidelines.

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Department of Radiotherapy, Royal Marsden Hospital, London, UK.



There is considerable controversy surrounding target volume definition for parotid-sparing intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for head and neck cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the dosimetric and radiobiological predictors of outcome anticipated by application of the detailed target volume definition guidelines agreed for the UK multicentre randomised controlled trial of parotid-sparing IMRT (PARSPORT).


Five patients eligible for the study were delineated using the trial guidelines. Following the protocol, plans were produced to treat these volumes with three-dimensional radiotherapy (control arm) and IMRT aimed to spare dose to the contralateral parotid gland (experimental arm). Dosimetric comparisons were made between plans, and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) modelling for salivary glands was carried out.


Doses delivered to the planning target volumes (PTV) were similar with each technique, although IMRT produced more homogeneous irradiation of the PTV. Mean doses to the contralateral parotid gland were 22.4+/-1.7 Gy with the IMRT plans vs 60.0+/-7.2 Gy with three-dimensional radiotherapy, P=0.0003. Calculated contralateral parotid gland NTCP values for grade 2 xerostomia were 20-22% for IMRT and 98-100% for three-dimensional radiotherapy (P<0.0001).


Pre-clinical evaluation of the PARSPORT trial target volume definition guidelines provides theoretical support for a significant reduction in xerostomia rates. These data await confirmation from the clinical trial results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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