Background: Dry mouth sensation cannot be improved completely even though parotids are spared correctly. Our purpose is to develop a nomogram to predict the moderate-to-severe late radiation xerostomia for patients with locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (LA-NPC) in intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) / volumetric modulated arc radiotherapy (VMAT) era.

Methods: A dataset of 311 patients was retrospectively collected between January 2010 and February 2013. The binary logistic regression was to estimate each factor’s prognostic value for development of moderate-to-severe patient-reported xerostomia at least 2 years (Xer2y) after completion of radiotherapy. Therefore, we can develop a nomogram according to binary logistic regression coefficients. This novel model was validated by bootstrapping analyses.

Results: Contralateral Parotid mean dose (coMD<24.4Gy), VMAT (yes), and platinum-based concurrent chemoradiotherapy (no) were significantly related to patient-reported xerostomia at least 2 years (Xer2y) (all p < 0.001), and were included in the nomogram. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis revealed AUC (area under the ROC curve) with the value of 0.811 (0.710-0.912) of the nomogram, which was significantly higher than coMD 0.698 (0.560-0.840) from QUANTEC2010 (p<0.001). Calibration plots illustrated that the predicted Xer2y was close to the actual observation, and decision curve analyses (DCA) indicated valid positive net benefits.

Conclusion: We developed a feasible nomogram to predict patient-rated Xer2y based on comprehensive individual data in patients with LA-NPC in the real world. The proposed model is able to facilitate the development of treatment plan and quality of life improvement.