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Altered fractionation outcomes for hypoxic head and neck cancer using the HYP-RT Monte Carlo model.

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The British journal of radiology (Impact Factor: 1.53). 02/2013; 86(1024). DOI: 10.1259/bjr.20120443
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Available from: Eva Bezak, May 28, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Tumor hypoxia is regarded as an important factor influencing radiation response, disease-free, and overall survival of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). This study was performed to reevaluate the prognostic significance of the "classical oxygenation parameters" hypoxic fraction (percentage of pO2 values < 5 mmHg or < 2.5 mmHg, respectively) and median pO2, and to determine the influence of a new radiobiological factor. This factor was termed the "hypoxic subvolume" (HSV) and was defined as percentage of pO2-values below 5 mmHg multiplied by the total tumor volume. The rationale of this parameter was to quantify approximately the amount of hypoxic tissue which should be correlated to the number of hypoxic cells in the tumor. It is obvious that a tumor of 100 cm3 with a hypoxic fraction of 20% (HSV = 20 cm3) contains more hypoxic cells than a tumor of 1 cm3 with a hypoxic fraction of 50% (HSV = 0.5 cm3). Pretreatment pO2 was assessed in 59 patients with SCCHN with the Eppendorf histograph, and pretreatment volume was determined by ultrasonography (lymphnode metastases) and computer tomography (primaries). All patients were referred to our departments for radiotherapy (n = 27, median dose 70 Gy) or radiochemotherapy (n = 32; 5-FU, mitomycin C, median dose 70 Gy), respectively. All parameters were evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier analysis, and significance was assumed at a p-value of < 0.05 (log-rank test, Cox-Mantel). A multivariate analysis was performed to control for confounding factors. The median follow-up was 233 days. At the time of the evaluation, 34 of the 59 patients were dead. In univariate analyses, the hypoxic fraction (pO2 < 5 mmHg, PO2 < 2.5 mmHg [p < 0.05]), the hemoglobin concentration (p < 0.05), and the hypoxic subvolume (p < 0.01) were of prognostic significance for overall survival. In multivariate analysis, the hemoglobin concentration and the hypoxic subvolume (p = 0.01) were significant prognosticators. We found no significant correlation between tumor volume or median pO2 and overall survival. No clear correlation was found between tumor volume and hypoxic fraction. These data suggest that the total amount of hypoxic tissue, as determined by the hypoxic subvolume, influences the prognosis of patients suffering from SCCHN. In addition, our data confirm the statements of previous studies that low pretherapy pO2-values indicate a worse prognosis.
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    ABSTRACT: A temporal Monte Carlo tumour growth and radiotherapy effect model (HYP-RT) simulating hypoxia in head and neck cancer has been developed and used to analyse parameters influencing cell kill during conventionally fractionated radiotherapy. The model was designed to simulate individual cell division up to 10(8) cells, while incorporating radiobiological effects, including accelerated repopulation and reoxygenation during treatment. Reoxygenation of hypoxic tumours has been modelled using randomised increments of oxygen to tumour cells after each treatment fraction. The process of accelerated repopulation has been modelled by increasing the symmetrical stem cell division probability. Both phenomena were onset immediately or after a number of weeks of simulated treatment. The extra dose required to control (total cell kill) hypoxic vs oxic tumours was 15-25% (8-20 Gy for 5 × 2 Gy per week) depending on the timing of accelerated repopulation onset. Reoxygenation of hypoxic tumours resulted in resensitisation and reduction in total dose required by approximately 10%, depending on the time of onset. When modelled simultaneously, accelerated repopulation and reoxygenation affected cell kill in hypoxic tumours in a similar manner to when the phenomena were modelled individually; however, the degree was altered, with non-additive results. Simulation results were in good agreement with standard linear quadratic theory; however, differed for more complex comparisons where hypoxia, reoxygenation as well as accelerated repopulation effects were considered. Simulations have quantitatively confirmed the need for patient individualisation in radiotherapy for hypoxic head and neck tumours, and have shown the benefits of modelling complex and dynamic processes using Monte Carlo methods.
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    ABSTRACT: The HYP-RT model simulates hypoxic tumour growth for head and neck cancer as well as radiotherapy and the effects of accelerated repopulation and reoxygenation. This report outlines algorithm design, parameterisation and the impact of accelerated repopulation on the increase in dose/fraction needed to control the extra cell propagation during accelerated repopulation. Cell kill probabilities are based on Linear Quadratic theory, with oxygenation levels and proliferative capacity influencing cell death. Hypoxia is modelled through oxygen level allocation based on pO2 histograms. Accelerated repopulation is modelled by increasing the stem cell symmetrical division probability, while the process of reoxygenation utilises randomised pO2 increments to the cell population after each treatment fraction. Propagation of 108 tumour cells requires 5–30 minutes. Controlling the extra cell growth induced by accelerated repopulation requires a dose/fraction increase of 0.5–1.0 Gy, in agreement with published reports. The average reoxygenation pO2 increment of 3 mmHg per fraction results in full tumour reoxygenation after shrinkage to approximately 1 mm. HYP-RT is a computationally efficient model simulating tumour growth and radiotherapy, incorporating accelerated repopulation and reoxygenation. It may be used to explore cell kill outcomes during radiotherapy while varying key radiobiological and tumour specific parameters, such as the degree of hypoxia.
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