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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1991 May 15;21(1):123-35.

Fitting of normal tissue tolerance data to an analytic function.

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  • 1Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021.


During external beam radiotherapy, normal tissues are irradiated along with the tumor. Radiation therapists try to minimize the dose of normal tissues while delivering a high dose to the target volume. Often this is difficult and complications arise due to irradiation of normal tissues. These complications depend not only on the dose but also on volume of the organ irradiated. Lyman has suggested a four-parameter empirical model which can be used to represent normal tissue response under conditions of uniform irradiation to whole and partial volumes as a function of the dose and volume irradiated. In this paper, Lyman's model has been applied to a compilation of clinical tolerance data developed by Emami et al. The four parameters to characterize the tissue response have been determined and graphical representations of the derived probability distributions are presented. The model may, therefore, be used to interpolate clinical data to provide estimated normal tissue complication probabilities for any combination of dose and irradiated volume for the normal tissues and end points considered.

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