Osteoradionecrosis of the mandible after radiotherapy for head and neck cancer: risk factors and dose-volume correlations

Acta Oncol. 2019 Oct;58(10):1373-1377. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2019.1643037. Epub 2019 Jul 31.

Abstract

Background: The project aimed at determining the incidence of mandibular osteoradionecrosis (ORN) after radiotherapy, possible risk factors, and mandibular dose-volume effects in a large cohort of head and neck cancer patients (HNC). Methods: The cohort consisted of 1224 HNC patients treated with 66-68 Gy in 2007-2015 predominantly with IMRT. ORN cases were defined from clinical observations at follow-up and through hospital code diagnostics after oral-maxillofacial surgery and cross-checked with the national Danish Head and Neck Cancer database. In a nested case-control study, patients with ORN cases were matched with two controls (1:2) and pre-RT dental procedures including surgery to the mandible were documented. Multivariable Cox regression analysis was applied using demographic and treatment variables including dental procedures, smoking and tumor characteristics, and combined with dosimetric data. Mean mandibular dose (Dmean) was pre-selected for the multivariable model. Results: ORN was recorded in 56 cases (4.6%) with a median time to event of 10.9 months (range 1.8-89.7) after RT, 90% occurred within 37.4 months. Median follow-up time was 22 months (0.3-95). Average Dmean was significantly higher in the ORN event cohort and significant dose-volume differences were observed for population mean DVH doses between 30 Gy and 60 Gy. In univariable analysis, smoking (HR = 1.69; CI 1.14-2.5), pre-RT surgery/tooth extraction (HR = 2.76; 1.48-5.14), and several dosimetric parameters including Dmean (HR = 1.05, 1.02-1.08) were all significantly associated with ORN. Dmean and surgery/tooth extraction remained significant predictors of ORN in multivariable analysis, HR = 1.04 (CI 1.01-1.07) and HR = 2.09 (CI 1.1-3.98), respectively, while smoking only retained its significance in an interaction analysis with pre-RT dental procedures. Conclusion: The onset of ORN of the mandible was early (median 10.8 months) and the incidence low (4.6%) after IMRT in HNC cancer patients. Surgery to the mandible and pre-RT tooth extraction, tobacco smoking, and treatment dose were associated with the development of ORN.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dose Fractionation, Radiation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Mandible / radiation effects*
  • Mandible / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / adverse effects
  • Oral Surgical Procedures / statistics & numerical data
  • Osteoradionecrosis / epidemiology*
  • Osteoradionecrosis / etiology
  • Radiometry
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Tobacco Smoking / adverse effects
  • Tobacco Smoking / epidemiology