Introduction: Tongue-deviating oral stents (TDOS) are commonly used during unilateral neck radiation therapy to reduce unnecessary dose to nontarget oral structures. Their benefit in the setting of highly conformal treatment techniques, however, is not defined. The goal of this study was to investigate the potential benefit of TDOS use on dosimetric parameters in unilateral intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) and intensity modulated proton therapy (IMPT). Methods: A total of 16 patients with T1-2 tonsil cancer treated at a single institution were selected, of which 8 were simulated/treated with a TDOS and 8 without a TDOS. All received definitive unilateral IMRT to a dose of 66 Gy in 30 fx. IMPT plans were generated for each patient for study purposes and optimized according to standard institutional practice. Results: For IMRT plans, the presence of a TDOS (vs without) was associated with a significantly lower oral mucosa mean dose (31.4 vs 35.3 Gy; P =.020) and V30 (42.7% vs 57.1%; P =.025). For IMPT plans, the presence of TDOS (vs without) was not associated with any improvement in oral mucosa mean dose (18.3 vs 19.9 Gy; P =.274) or V30 (25.0% vs 26.2%; P =.655). IMPT plans without TDOS compared with IMRT plans with TDOS demonstrated reduced oral mucosa mean dose (P <.001) and V30 (P <.001). Conclusion: The use of a TDOS for the unilateral treatment of well-lateralized tonsil cancers was associated with oral mucosa sparing for IMRT, but not for IMPT. Moreover, mucosa sparing was improved for IMPT plans without a TDOS compared to IMRT plans with a TDOS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging