Radiobiological impact of reduced margins and treatment technique for prostate cancer in terms of tumor control probability (TCP) and normal tissue complication probability (NTCP)

Med Dosim. Summer 2011;36(2):130-7. doi: 10.1016/j.meddos.2010.02.004. Epub 2010 May 21.


Dose escalation in prostate radiotherapy is limited by normal tissue toxicities. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of margin size on tumor control and side effects for intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and 3D conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT) treatment plans with increased dose. Eighteen patients with localized prostate cancer were enrolled. 3DCRT and IMRT plans were compared for a variety of margin sizes. A marker detectable on daily portal images was presupposed for narrow margins. Prescribed dose was 82 Gy within 41 fractions to the prostate clinical target volume (CTV). Tumor control probability (TCP) calculations based on the Poisson model including the linear quadratic approach were performed. Normal tissue complication probability (NTCP) was calculated for bladder, rectum and femoral heads according to the Lyman-Kutcher-Burman method. All plan types presented essentially identical TCP values and very low NTCP for bladder and femoral heads. Mean doses for these critical structures reached a minimum for IMRT with reduced margins. Two endpoints for rectal complications were analyzed. A marked decrease in NTCP for IMRT plans with narrow margins was seen for mild RTOG grade 2/3 as well as for proctitis/necrosis/stenosis/fistula, for which NTCP <7% was obtained. For equivalent TCP values, sparing of normal tissue was demonstrated with the narrow margin approach. The effect was more pronounced for IMRT than 3DCRT, with respect to NTCP for mild, as well as severe, rectal complications.

MeSH terms

  • Body Burden
  • Computer Simulation
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological*
  • Models, Statistical
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radiation Injuries / etiology*
  • Radiation Injuries / prevention & control
  • Radiation Protection / methods*
  • Radiometry / methods*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Radiotherapy, Conformal / methods*