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PURPOSE: This study investigated the trade-off in tumor coverage and organ-at-risk sparing when applying dose escalation for concurrent chemoradiation therapy (CRT) of mid-esophageal cancer, using radiobiological modeling to estimate local control and normal tissue toxicity. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Twenty-one patients with mid-esophageal cancer were selected from the SCOPE1 database (International Standard Randomised Controlled Trials number 47718479), with a mean planning target volume (PTV) of 327 cm(3). A boost volume, PTV2 (GTV + 0.5 cm margin), was created. Radiobiological modeling of tumor control probability (TCP) estimated the dose required for a clinically significant (+20%) increase in local control as 62.5 Gy/25 fractions. A RapidArc (RA) plan with a simultaneously integrated boost (SIB) to PTV2 (RA62.5) was compared to a standard dose plan of 50 Gy/25 fractions (RA50). Dose-volume metrics and estimates of normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) for heart and lungs were compared. RESULTS: Clinically acceptable dose escalation was feasible for 16 of 21 patients, with significant gains (>18%) in tumor control from 38.2% (RA50) to 56.3% (RA62.5), and only a small increase in predicted toxicity: median heart NTCP 4.4% (RA50) versus 5.6% (RA62.5) P<.001 and median lung NTCP 6.5% (RA50) versus 7.5% (RA62.5) P<.001. CONCLUSIONS: Dose escalation to the GTV to improve local control is possible when overlap between PTV and organ-at-risk (<8% heart volume and <2.5% lung volume overlap for this study) generates only negligible increase in lung or heart toxicity. These predictions from radiobiological modeling should be tested in future clinical trials.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys

Publication Date





423 - 429


Chemoradiotherapy, Dose Fractionation, Radiation, Esophageal Neoplasms, Feasibility Studies, Heart, Humans, Lung, Models, Biological, Organs at Risk, Probability, Tumor Burden