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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The effect of overall treatment time on the survival and toxicity of radical radiotherapy for cervical carcinoma.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Overall treatment time is an important factor in the outcome of radical radiotherapy in head and neck, bladder and lung cancer and in cervix cancer treated over more than 7 weeks. This study analysed the effect of prolongation of overall treatment time on survival and late morbidity for patients receiving radical radiotherapy for cervical cancer treated with a 4-week regimen. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Using the departmental SAS data-base we identified all patients with cervix cancer treated between 1974 and 1988 and investigated the 647 patients who received 20 fractions of external beam radiotherapy plus intracavitary therapy with a total dose to point A of at least 60Gy. A retrospective case-note review identified tumour and treatment-related variables. RESULTS: Four hundred and twenty-five (66%) patients had at least one gap in treatment. Seventy-nine gaps (11%) were due to unavoidable patient or treatment-related causes. We could not find an effect of a treatment gap (P=0.43) or an increased overall treatment time (P=0.79) on the cause specific survival of patients. There was significantly more grade 4 morbidity in those patients treated over a short period (29-32 days) compared to the rest (P=0.005), possibly related to the loss of radiotherapy-free days to weekend intracavitary insertions. CONCLUSIONS: We could not demonstrate a significant effect of overall treatment time in this series of patients, almost all of whom were treated in less than 7 weeks. Those patients treated over the shortest period had an increased incidence of late morbidity.[1]


  1. The effect of overall treatment time on the survival and toxicity of radical radiotherapy for cervical carcinoma. Erridge, S.C., Kerr, G.R., Downing, D., Duncan, W., Price, A. Radiotherapy and oncology : journal of the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. (2002) [Pubmed]
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