Dose-Volume Relationships for Acute Bowel Toxicity in Patients Treated With Pelvic Nodal Irradiation for Prostate Cancer

Claudio Fiorino, Filippo Alongi, Lucia Perna, Sara Broggi, Giovanni Mauro Cattaneo, Cesare Cozzarini, Nadia Di Muzio, Ferruccio Fazio, Riccardo Calandrino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To find correlation between dose-volume histograms (DVHs) of the intestinal cavity (IC) and moderate-severe acute bowel toxicity in men with prostate cancer treated with pelvic nodal irradiation. Methods and Materials: The study group consisted of 191 patients with localized prostate cancer who underwent whole-pelvis radiotherapy with radical or adjuvant/salvage intent during January 2004 to November 2007. Complete planning/clinical data were available in 175 of these men, 91 of whom were treated with a conventional four-field technique (50.4 Gy, 1.8 Gy/fraction) and 84 of whom were treated with IMRT using conventional Linac (n = 26, 50.4 Gy, 1.8 Gy/fraction) or Helical TomoTherapy (n = 58, 50-54 Gy, 1.8-2 Gy/fraction). The IC outside the planning target volume (PTV) was contoured and the DVH for the first 6 weeks of treatment was recovered in all patients. The correlation between a number of clinical and DVH (V10-V55) variables and toxicity was investigated in univariate and multivariate analyses. The correlation between DVHs for the IC outside the PTV and DVHs for the whole IC was also assessed. Results: Twenty-two patients experienced toxicity (3/22 in the IMRT/tomotherapy group). Univariate analyses showed a significant correlation between V20-V50 and toxicity (p = 0.0002-0.001), with a higher predictive value observed for V40-V50. Previous prostatectomy (p = 0.066) and abdominal/pelvic surgery (p = 0.12) also correlated with toxicity. Multivariate analysis that included V45, abdominal/pelvic surgery, and prostatectomy showed that the most predictive parameters were V45 (p = 0.002) and abdominal/pelvic surgery (p = 0.05, HR = 2.4). Conclusions: Our avoidance IMRT approach drastically reduces the incidence of acute bowel toxicity. V40-V50 of IC and, secondarily, previous abdominal/pelvic surgery were the main predictors of acute bowel toxicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1 2009


  • Dose-volume effects
  • IMRT
  • Prostate cancer
  • TomoTherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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