The clinical outcome correlations between radiation dose and pretreatment metabolic tumor volume for radiotherapy in head and neck cancer: A retrospective analysis

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This study was to investigate the clinical outcomes between radiation dose and pretreatment metabolic tumor volume (MTV) in patients with head and neck cancer treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy.

Thirty-four patients received pretreatment 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET/CT) were recruited for this study. The CT-based volume (gross tumor volume of the primary [GTVp]) and 4 types of MTVs were measured on the basis of either a maximal standardized uptake value (SUVmax) of 2.5 (MTV2.5), 3.0 (MTV3.0), or a fixed threshold of 40% (MTV40%), 50% (MTV50%). 18F-FDG PET-CT images before treatment, and data including response to treatment, local recurrence, death due to the cancer, disease-free survival (DFS) and primary relapse-free survival (PRFS), were collected for analysis.

The Wilcoxon rank test showed that all values determined by the different delineation techniques were significantly different from the GTVp (P < .05). Tumor volume and the homogeneity of target dose of MTV2.5, MTV3.0, MTV40%, and MTV50% were significantly different between the 2 groups of patients through treatment outcomes (P < .05).

The survival curves for DFS and PRFS demonstrated that the homogeneity of the target dose in MTVs was a good indicator. The homogeneity of target dose in the tumor is a potential indicator of DSF and PRFS in patients with head and neck cancer who underwent radiotherapy.

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