Pelvic bone marrow (BM) constraints may offer a means to reduce the toxicity commonly associated with chemoradiation for anal cancer. We conducted a bi-institutional analysis of dose-volume metrics in a time-sensitive fashion to devise practical metrics to minimize hematologic toxicity.Fifty-six anal cancer patients from 2 institutions received definitive radiation therapy (median primary dose of 54 Gy) using intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT, n=49) or 3-dimensional (3D) conformal therapy (n=7) with concurrent 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and mitomycin C. Weekly blood counts were retrospectively plotted to characterize the time course of cytopenias. Dose-volume parameters were correlated with blood counts at a standardized time point to identify predictors of initial blood count nadirs.Leukocytes, neutrophils, and platelets reached a nadir at week 3 of treatment. Smaller volumes of the pelvic BM correlated most strongly with lower week 3 blood counts, more so than age, sex, body mass index (BMI), or dose metrics. Patients who had =750 cc of pelvic BM spared from doses of =30 Gy had 0% grade 3+ leukopenia or neutropenia at week 3. Higher V40 Gy to the lower pelvic BM (LP V40) also correlated with cytopenia. Patients with an LP V40 >23% had higher rates of grade 3+ leukopenia (29% vs 4%, P=.02), grade 3+ neutropenia (33% vs 8%, P=.04), and grade 2+ thrombocytopenia (32% vs 7%, P=.04) at week 3. On multivariate analysis, pelvic BM volume and LP V40 remained associated with leukocyte count, and all marrow subsite volumes remained associated with neutrophil counts at week 3 (P<.1).Larger pelvic BM volumes correlate with less severe leukocyte and neutrophil nadirs, suggesting that larger total "marrow reserve" can mitigate cytopenias. Sparing a critical marrow reserve and limiting the V40 Gy to the lower pelvis may reduce the risk of hematologic toxicity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2016.10.010
View details for Web of Science ID 000393294100018
View details for PubMedID 28068238