We sought to characterize the pattern of lymph node regression and morphology following definitive radiation therapy (RT) for human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal carcinoma in patients with disease control.Radiographically positive cervical lymph nodes from patients treated with definitive RT for HPV-associated oropharyngeal carcinoma were segmented on initial pre- and subsequent post-RT contrast enhanced CT images. Pre-specified quantitative nodal parameters were calculated. Initial nodal parameter correlates of final nodal size, final nodal volume, and time to <1 cm short-axis diameter were determined.Sixty-six radiographically positive lymph node were analyzed in 36 patients. Lymph nodes exhibited initial volume decreases with size stabilization at ~4 months. Fifteen nodes (23%) underwent complete radiographic response (median 6.4 months following RT; range 2.9-25.6 months). On multivariate time-to-event analysis, initial hypodense/fat component, nodal volume, and short-axis diameter exhibited inverse association, while higher HU standard deviation exhibited a positive association, with reaching <1 cm short-axis diameter (all p<0.05).Our results showed a substantial decrease in nodal volume within the first 1-2 months following RT. These findings support our current nodal imaging paradigm, propose a quantitative methodology, and describe a reference dataset for further validation and comparison studies.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2014.11.001
View details for Web of Science ID 000347901800019
View details for PubMedID 25444304
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4502963