GC Barnett, CML West, CE Coles, PDP Pharoah, CJ Talbot, RM Elliott, GA Tanteles, RP Symonds, JS Wilkinson, AM Dunning, NG Burnet, SM Bentzen
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
PURPOSE: The search for clinical and biologic biomarkers associated with late radiotherapy toxicity is hindered by the use of multiple and different endpoints from a variety of scoring systems, hampering comparisons across studies and pooling of data. We propose a novel metric, the Standardized Total Average Toxicity (STAT) score, to try to overcome these difficulties. METHODS AND MATERIALS: STAT scores were derived for 1010 patients from the Cambridge breast intensity-modulated radiotherapy trial and 493 women from the University Hospitals of Leicester. The sensitivity of the STAT score to detect differences between patient groups, stratified by factors known to influence late toxicity, was compared with that of individual endpoints. Analysis of residuals was used to quantify the effect of these covariates. RESULTS: In the Cambridge cohort, STAT scores detected differences (p < 0.00005) between patients attributable to breast volume, surgical specimen weight, dosimetry, acute toxicity, radiation boost to tumor bed, postoperative infection, and smoking (p < 0.0002), with no loss of sensitivity over individual toxicity endpoints. Diabetes (p = 0.017), poor postoperative surgical cosmesis (p = 0.0036), use of chemotherapy (p = 0.0054), and increasing age (p = 0.041) were also associated with increased STAT score. When the Cambridge and Leicester datasets were combined, STAT was associated with smoking status (p < 0.00005), diabetes (p = 0.041), chemotherapy (p = 0.0008), and radiotherapy boost (p = 0.0001). STAT was independent of the toxicity scale used and was able to deal with missing data. There were correlations between residuals of the STAT score obtained using different toxicity scales (r > 0.86, p < 0.00005 for both datasets). CONCLUSIONS: The STAT score may be used to facilitate the analysis of overall late radiation toxicity, from multiple trials or centers, in studies of possible genetic and nongenetic determinants of radiotherapy toxicity.