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Rep Pract Oncol Radiother. 2015 Sep-Oct;20(5):328-39. doi: 10.1016/j.rpor.2015.05.010. Epub 2015 Jul 4.

Effect of radiotherapy delay in overall treatment time on local control and survival in head and neck cancer: Review of the literature.

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Cartuja Oncological Institute (IMO-Group), Américo Vespucio Street 31-33, 41092 Seville, Spain.
Comprehensive Cancer Care Unit, Puerta del Mar and Puerto Real University Hospitals, Ana de Viya Avenue 21, 11009 Cádiz, Spain.
IMO-Group Medical Director, República Argentina Square 7, 28002 Madrid, Spain.
Institute of Lung Diseases, Sremska Kamenica, Serbia ; BioIRC Centre for Biomedical Research, Kragujevac, Serbia.


Treatment delays in completing radiotherapy (RT) for many neoplasms are a major problem affecting treatment outcome, as increasingly shown in the literature. Overall treatment time (OTT) could be a critical predictor of local tumor control and/or survival. In an attempt to establish a protocol for managing delays during RT, especially for heavily overloaded units, we have extensively reviewed the available literature on head and neck cancer. We confirmed a large deleterious effect of prolonged OTT on both local control and survival of these patients.


Delays; Local control; Overall treatment time; Radiotherapy; Survival

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