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ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 66-71

Unscheduled treatment breaks during radical radiotherapy for head and neck cancers: An audit from a tertiary care center


Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Avradeep Datta
Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjoc.bjoc_5_21

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Aims: The aim of this article was to audit radical radiotherapy practice in head and neck cancer to assess unscheduled treatment breaks and their reasons thereof. Materials and Methods: Records of all patients of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas registered in the year preceding the pandemic were analyzed. A total of 287 patients treated with radical intent with doses equivalent to 66 Gy in 33 fractions were eligible for final analysis. Results: More than half (148/287) of our patients suffered from treatment breaks during their radiotherapy treatment with primary cause being treatment-related toxicities. Radiotherapy dose of 66 Gy and above (P < 0.001), primary in the oral cavity (P = 0.009), and preceding surgery and concurrent chemotherapy (P = 0.032) were found to be significantly associated with treatment breaks as well as breaks lasting for 15 days or more. Patients having a break in their treatment were also found to have a significantly low progression-free survival (25.8 vs. 12.7 months; P = 0.012). Conclusion: It is in the interest of the patients that stringent patients’ selection criteria identify the ideal candidates for treatment intensification.


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