In clinical practice, evaluation of clinical efficacy of treatment planning stems from the radiation oncologist's experience in accurately targeting tumors, while keeping minimal toxicity to various organs at risk (OAR) involved. A more objective, quantitative method may be raised by using radiobiological models. The purpose of this work is to evaluate the potential correlation of OAR-related toxicities to its radiobiologically estimated parameters in simultaneously integrated boost (SIB) intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) plans of patients with head and neck tumors at two institutions. Lyman model for normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) and the Poisson model for tumor control probability (TCP) models were used in the Histogram Analysis in Radiation Therapy (HART) analysis. In this study, 33 patients with oropharyngeal primaries in the head and neck region were used to establish the correlation between NTCP values of (a) bilateral parotids with clinically observed rates of xerostomia, (b) esophagus with dysphagia, and (c) larynx with dysphagia. The results of the study indicated a strong correlation between the severity of xerostomia and dysphagia with Lyman NTCP of bilateral parotids and esophagus, respectively, but not with the larynx. In patients without complications, NTCP values of these organs were negligible. Using appropriate radiobiological models, the presence of a moderate to strong correlation between the severities of complications with NTCP of selected OARs suggested that the clinical outcome could be estimated prior to treatment.

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Published in Journal of Medical Physics, v. 40, no. 3, p. 165-169.

© 2015 Journal of Medical Physics.

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