The DARTBOARD clinical trial will study daily adaptive radiotherapy on head and neck cancers using tumor targeting driven by an AI-driven algorithm developed by UT Southwestern.
There are few times in a doctor’s career in which you see a remarkable leap forward in care – 2021-22 has been that year for me. Our first-of-its-kind head and neck cancer study, DARTBOARD, feels revolutionary in terms of precision, patient-centricity, and enhancing quality of life.
Officially known as Daily Adaptive Radiotherapy to Better Organ-at-Risk Doses in Head and Neck Cancer, DARTBOARD is the first randomized study of daily adaptive radiation therapy in head and neck cancer.
UT Southwestern is the only site for the study, which will implement the smallest head and neck irradiated volume ever delivered and analyzed. A novel, highly focused treatment plan will be designed in part by an AI algorithm developed by UT Southwestern’s Radiation Oncology team. A daily patient-specific treatment will be delivered using our two specialized Varian Ethos machines.
Though head or neck cancer treatment has improved dramatically in the last 30 years, there is room to improve the side effects of head and neck cancer radiation therapy – namely xerostomia (dry mouth) due to salivary gland damage caused by standard radiation therapy.
UT Southwestern is currently enrolling patients with Stage I-IVB squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, larynx, and hypopharynx in the DARTBOARD clinical trial.
To discuss eligibility, call 214-645-8525 or request an appointment online.
It can take six months or longer to improve dry mouth after treatment ends, and most patients experience some degree of this symptom for life. To the average person, dry mouth might seem miniscule. But saliva plays an important role in chewing, swallowing, tasting, and talking – dry mouth can make these activities difficult or uncomfortable.
The primary goal of DARTBOARD, which is receiving financial support from Varian Medical Systems, is to determine whether daily adaptive radiation therapy – delivering radiation to an increasingly smaller area of tissue based on a patient’s real-time anatomy – can reduce dry mouth after treatment compared with traditional radiation therapy.
Further, our ongoing goal for DARTBOARD and subsequent studies is to enhance cancer treatment through personalized radiation therapy at Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center.