How should we measure and report radiotherapy-induced xerostomia?

Avraham Eisbruch, Nelson Rhodus, David Rosenthal, Barbara Murphy, Coen Rasch, Stephen Sonis, Charles Scarantino, David Brizel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Xerostomia is commonly measured and graded using objective measures of major salivary gland output and observer-rated toxicity grading. The separation between the different grades is somewhat ambiguous in the current toxicity grading systems. We propose a new grading system based primarily on the functional deficits associated with xerostomia. Salivary flow rates have been added as a criterion to the grading system, notwithstanding the weak correlation reported in most studies between the symptoms and objective functional measures. In addition to the observer-rated toxicity grading, recording of patient-reported quality of life, using validated instruments, is encouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-234
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Radiation Oncology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2003

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