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Because the survival of endosseous implants in irradiated bone is lower than in non-irradiated bone, particularly if the irradiation dose exceeds 50Gy, a study was carried out to assess the irradiation dose in the anterior mandible, when intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) is used. The hypothesis was that adequate IMRT planning in oropharyngeal cancer patients is allowing sufficiently low anterior mandibular bone radiation dosages to safely insert endosseous implants. Ten randomly selected patients with oropharyngeal cancer, primarily treated by intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), were included in this study. First, at five determined positions distributed over the anterior mandible, the appropriate radiation dosages were calculated according to the originally arranged fractionated radiation schedule. Second, for each patient an adjusted fractionated radiation schedule was established with an extra dose constraint which allowed a lower dose in the mandible taking into account that the anterior mandible needs protection against radiation-induced osteoradionecrosis. The goal for the adjusted fractionated radiation schedule was similar as that of the original fractionated radiation schedule, including a desired tumour target dosage of 70Gy and maximum mean local dosages for organs at risk. The data revealed a considerable and statistically significant, irradiation dose reduction in the anterior mandible without compromising the other constraints. As a result of this study it is strongly advised to maximize dose constraint to the anterior mandible when planning irradiation for oropharyngeal cancer patients, using IMRT. This would greatly facilitate successful implant treatment for this group of patients. The fractionated radiation schedules used, should also be used for the planning of the best implant positions by integrating them in the implant planning software.


Henk W D Verdonck, Jos M A de Jong, Marlies E P G Granzier, Fred H Nieman, Cees de Baat, Paul J W Stoelinga. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy for oropharyngeal cancer: radiation dosage constraint at the anterior mandible. Oral oncology. 2009 Jun;45(6):511-4

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PMID: 18804413

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