Risk factors for osteoradionecrosis of the jaw in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Hikaru Kubota, Daisuke Miyawaki, Naritoshi Mukumoto, Takeaki Ishihara, Megumi Matsumura, Takumi Hasegawa, Masaya Akashi, Naomi Kiyota, Hirotaka Shinomiya, Masanori Teshima, Ken-Ichi Nibu, Ryohei Sasaki
Radiation Oncology 2021 January 5, 16 (1): 1

BACKGROUND: To evaluate factors associated with osteoradionecrosis of the jaw (ORNJ) in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), focusing on jaw-related dose-volume histogram (DVH) parameters.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 616 patients with HNSCC treated with curative-intent or postoperative radiation therapy (RT) during 2008-2018. Patient-related (age, sex, history of smoking or alcohol use, diabetes mellitus, performance status, pre-RT dental evaluation, pre- or post-RT tooth extraction), tumor-related (primary tumor site, T-stage, nodal status), and treatment-related (pre-RT surgery, pre-RT mandible surgery, induction or concurrent chemotherapy, RT technique) variables and DVH parameters (relative volumes of the jaw exposed to doses of 10 Gy-70 Gy [V10-70]) were investigated and compared between patients with and without ORNJ. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare RT dose parameters. Univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were used to assess factors associated with ORNJ development. Kaplan-Meier analyses were performed for cumulative ORNJ incidence estimation.

RESULTS: Forty-six patients (7.5%) developed ORNJ. The median follow-up duration was 40 (range 3-145) months. The median time to ORNJ development was 27 (range 2-127) months. DVH analysis revealed that V30-V70 values were significantly higher in patients with than in those without ORNJ. In univariate analyses, primary tumor site, pre-RT mandible surgery, post-RT tooth extraction, and V60 > 14% were identified as important factors. In multivariate analyses, V60 > 14% (p = 0.0065) and primary tumor site (p = 0.0059) remained significant. The 3-year cumulative ORNJ incidence rates were 2.5% and 8.6% in patients with V60 ≤ 14% and > 14%, respectively (p < 0.0001), and 9.3% and 1.4% in patients with oropharyngeal or oral cancer and other cancers, respectively (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: V60 > 14% and oropharyngeal or oral cancer were found to be independent risk factors for ORNJ. These findings might be useful to minimize ORNJ incidence in HNSCC treated with curative RT.

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