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Cancer. 2013 Jan 15;119(2):325-31. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27652. Epub 2012 Jul 17.

The effect of treatment time in locally advanced cervical cancer in the era of concurrent chemoradiotherapy.

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Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology, The University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.



This study sought to determine if treatment time impacts pelvic failure (PF), distant failure (DF), or disease-specific mortality (DSM) in patients undergoing concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT).


A retrospective review was performed of 113 consecutive eligible patients with stage IB2 to IIIB cervical cancer. All patients received whole-pelvis radiation with concurrent chemotherapy and consolidative intracavitary brachytherapy (BT) to the cervix, followed by an external beam parametrial boost when appropriate. The effect of treatment time on PF, DF, and DSM was examined with univariate and multivariate analyses. Characteristics of patients with and without treatment prolongation were compared to explore reasons for treatment prolongation.


The median time to completion of BT was 60 days, and the median time to complete all RT was 68 days. The 3-year cumulative incidence of PF, DF, and DSM were 18%, 23%, and 26%, respectively. On multivariate analysis, time to completion of BT >56 days was associated with increased PF (hazard ratio, 3.8; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-16; P = .02). The 3-year PF for >56 days versus ≤56 days was 26% versus 9% (P = .04). Treatment time was not associated with DF or DSM. Treatment prolongation was found to be associated with delay in starting BT and higher incidence of acute grade 3/4 toxicities.


In the setting of CCRT, treatment time >56 days is detrimental to pelvic control but is not associated with an increase in DF or DSM. To maximize pelvic control, we recommend completing BT in 8 weeks or less.

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