Validation of prediction models for radiation-induced late rectal bleeding: Evidence from a large pooled population of prostate cancer patients

Alessandro Cicchetti, Claudio Fiorino, Martin A. Ebert, Jacopo Iacovacci, Angel Kennedy, David J. Joseph, James W. Denham, Vittorio Vavassori, Gianni Fellin, Cesare Cozzarini, Claudio Degli Esposti, Pietro Gabriele, Fernando Munoz, Barbara Avuzzi, Riccardo Valdagni, Tiziana Rancati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: To validate published models for the risk estimate of grade ≥ 1 (G1+), grade ≥ 2 (G2+) and grade = 3 (G3) late rectal bleeding (LRB) after radical radiotherapy for prostate cancer in a large pooled population from three prospective trials. Materials and methods: The external validation population included patients from Europe, and Oceanian centres enrolled between 2003 and 2014. Patients received 3DCRT or IMRT at doses between 66–80 Gy. IMRT was administered with conventional or hypofractionated schemes (2.35–2.65 Gy/fr). LRB was prospectively scored using patient-reported questionnaires (LENT/SOMA scale) with a 3-year follow-up. All Normal Tissue Complication Probability (NTCP) models published until 2021 based on the Equivalent Uniform Dose (EUD) from the rectal Dose Volume Histogram (DVH) were considered for validation. Model performance in validation was evaluated through calibration and discrimination. Results: Sixteen NTCP models were tested on data from 1633 patients. G1+ LRB was scored in 465 patients (28.5%), G2+ in 255 patients (15.6%) and G3 in 112 patients (6.8%). The best performances for G2+ and G3 LRB highlighted the importance of the medium–high doses to the rectum (volume parameters n = 0.24 and n = 0.18, respectively). Good performance was seen for models of severe LRB. Moreover, a multivariate model with two clinical factors found the best calibration slope. Conclusion: Five published NTCP models developed on non-contemporary cohorts were able to predict a relative increase in the toxicity response in a more recent validation population. Compared to QUANTEC findings, dosimetric results pointed toward mid-high doses of rectal DVH. The external validation cohort confirmed abdominal surgery and cardiovascular diseases as risk factors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109628
JournalRadiotherapy and Oncology
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


Dive into the research topics of 'Validation of prediction models for radiation-induced late rectal bleeding: Evidence from a large pooled population of prostate cancer patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this