Effect of brain stem and dorsal vagus complex dosimetry on nausea and vomiting in head and neck intensity-modulated radiation therapy.
ABSTRACT Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is becoming the treatment of choice for many head and neck cancer patients. IMRT reduces some toxicities by reducing radiation dose to uninvolved normal tissue near tumor targets; however, other tissues not irradiated using previous 3D techniques may receive clinically significant doses, causing undesirable side effects including nausea and vomiting (NV). Irradiation of the brainstem, and more specifically, the area postrema and dorsal vagal complex (DVC), has been linked to NV. We previously reported preliminary hypothesis-generating dose effects associated with NV in IMRT patients. The goal of this study is to relate brainstem dose to NV symptoms. We retrospectively studied 100 consecutive patients that were treated for oropharyngeal cancer with IMRT. We contoured the brainstem, area postrema, and DVC with the assistance of an expert diagnostic neuroradiologist. We correlated dosimetry for the 3 areas contoured with weekly NV rates during IMRT. NV rates were significantly higher for patients who received concurrent chemotherapy. Post hoc analysis demonstrated that chemoradiation cases exhibited a trend towards the same dose-response relationship with both brainstem mean dose (p = 0.0025) and area postrema mean dose (p = 0.004); however, both failed to meet statistical significance at the p ≤ 0.002 level. Duration of toxicity was also greater for chemoradiation patients, who averaged 3.3 weeks with reported Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTC-AE), compared with an average of 2 weeks for definitive RT patients (p = 0.002). For definitive RT cases, no dose-response trend could be ascertained. The mean brainstem dose emerged as a key parameter of interest; however, no one dose parameter (mean/median/EUD) best correlated with NV. This study does not address extraneous factors that would affect NV incidence, including the use of antiemetics, nor chemotherapy dose schedule specifics before and during RT. A prospective study will be required to depict exactly how IMRT dose affects NV.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate potential dose-response relationship between radiation-associated nausea and vomiting (RANV) reported during radiotherapy and candidate nausea/vomiting-associated regions of interest (CNV-ROIs) in head and neck (HNC) squamous cell carcinomas. A total of 130 patients treated with IMRT with squamous cell carcinomas of head and neck were evaluated. For each patient, CNV-ROIs were segmented manually on planning CT images. Clinical on-treatment RANV data were reconstructed by a review of the records for all patients. Dosimetric data parameters were recorded from dose-volume histograms. Nausea and vomiting reports were concatenated as a single binary "Any N/V" variable, and as a "CTC-V2+" variable. The mean dose to CNV-ROIs was higher for patients experiencing RANV events. For patients receiving IMRT alone, a dose-response effect was observed with varying degrees of magnitude, at a statistically significant level for the area postrema, brainstem, dorsal vagal complex, medulla oblongata, solitary nucleus, oropharyngeal mucosa and whole brain CNV-ROIs. RANV is a common therapy-related morbidity facing patients receiving HNC radiotherapy, and, for those receiving radiotherapy-alone, is associated with modifiable dose to specific CNS structures.Radiotherapy and Oncology 04/2014; 111(2). DOI:10.1016/j.radonc.2014.02.019 · 4.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We wanted to investigate dosimetric parameters that would predict radiation-induced acute nausea and vomiting in intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for undifferentiated carcinoma of the nasopharynx (NPC). Forty-nine consecutive patients with newly diagnosed NPC were treated with IMRT alone in this prospective study. Patients receiving any form of chemotherapy were excluded. The dorsal vagal complex (DVC) as well as the left and right vestibules (VB-L and VB-R, respectively) were contoured on planning computed tomography images. A structure combining both the VB-L and the VB-R, named VB-T, was also generated. All structures were labeled organs at risk (OAR). A 3-mm three-dimensional margin was added to these structures and labeled DVC+3 mm, VB-L+3 mm, VB-R+3 mm, and VB-T+3 mm to account for physiological body motion and setup error. No weightings were given to these structures during optimization in treatment planning. Dosimetric parameters were recorded from dose-volume histograms. Statistical analysis of parameters' association with nausea and vomiting was performed using univariate and multivariate logistic regression. Six patients (12.2%) reported Grade 1 nausea, and 8 patients (16.3%) reported Grade 2 nausea. Also, 4 patients (8.2%) complained of Grade 1 vomiting, and 4 patients (8.2%) experienced Grade 2 vomiting. No patients developed protracted nausea and vomiting after completion of IMRT. For radiation-induced acute nausea, V40 (percentage volume receiving at least 40Gy) to the VB-T and V40>=80% to the VB-T were predictors, using univariate analysis. On multivariate analysis, V40>=80% to the VB-T was the only predictor. There were no predictors of radiation-induced acute vomiting, as the number of events was too small for analysis. This is the first study demonstrating that a V40 to the VB-T is predictive of radiation-induced acute nausea. The vestibules should be labeled as sensitive OARs, and weightings should be considered for dose sparing during optimization in the treatment planning of IMRT.International journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics 01/2012; 84(1):176-82. DOI:10.1016/j.ijrobp.2011.10.010 · 4.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Purpose To investigate the role of dose to the dorsal vagal complex (DVC) as an emetic stimulus in head-and-neck cancer patients treated with intensity modulated radiation therapy but without chemotherapy. Methods and materials Seventy consecutively treated patients were analyzed for factors associated with nausea. The DVC was contoured on treatment planning scans using a previously published template and mean dose to the structure was analyzed for dose response. Results Nausea occurred in 26 of 70 patients (37%). Two patients (3%) experienced grade 2 nausea, with the remainder having grade 1 nausea. On univariate analysis, dose to the DVC, age, and T-stage were the only significant predictors of nausea. The highest quartile of dose to the DVC (> 3000 cGy) was associated with an incidence of nausea of 67% compared with less than 30% in each of the other 3 quartiles (P = .0255). Conclusions Dose to the DVC of the brainstem appears to correlate with radiation-induced nausea and vomiting. Attentive treatment planning efforts can reduce dose to this critical structure and hopefully minimize the risk of nausea.01/2013; 4(4). DOI:10.1016/j.prro.2013.08.003