Background and purpose: For toxicities occurring during the course of radiotherapy, it is conceptually inaccurate to perform normal-tissue complication probability analyses using the complete dose-volume histogram. The goal of this study was to analyze acute rectal toxicity using a novel approach in which the fit of the Lyman-Kutcher-Burman (LKB) model is based on the fractional rectal dose-volume histogram (DVH). Materials and methods: Grade ≥2 acute rectal toxicity was analyzed in 509 patients treated on Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) protocol 94-06. These patients had no field reductions or treatment-plan revisions during therapy, allowing the fractional rectal DVH to be estimated from the complete rectal DVH based on the total number of dose fractions delivered. Results: The majority of patients experiencing Grade ≥2 acute rectal toxicity did so before completion of radiotherapy (70/80 = 88%). Acute rectal toxicity depends on fractional mean rectal dose, with no significant improvement in the LKB model fit when the volume parameter differs from n = 1. The incidence of toxicity was significantly lower for patients who received hormone therapy (P = 0.024). Conclusions: Variations in fractional mean dose explain the differences in incidence of acute rectal toxicity, with no detectable effect seen here for differences in numbers of dose fractions delivered.
- Acute rectal toxicity
- Dose-volume histogram
- Lyman model
- Normal-tissue complication probability
- Prostate cancer