Purpose: To determine the influence of waiting time for radiotherapy on local control and survival in a cohort of patients with head and neck carcinoma of different locations and stages treated with radiotherapy. Material and methods: Retrospective study of 797 patients with squamous cell carcinoma located in the oral cavity, pharynx or larynx, treated with radiotherapy, and with a minimum follow-up of 3 years. Local recurrence and survival were analyzed in function of the waiting time, defined as the interval between date of histologic diagnosis and date of radiotherapy. A univariate and multivariate analysis was carried out. Results: Median waiting time to radiotherapy was 44 days (25 and 75% quartiles: 33 and 60 days). There were significant differences in the waiting time period in relation to the primary location and the local extension of the tumor. Both univariate and multivariate analysis showed that waiting time had no significant impact either on local control or survival. Conclusion: Within the range of the waiting time observed in our study, delay in the initiation of radiotherapy did not affect local control or survival in patients with head and neck carcinoma. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Head and neck carcinoma
- Waiting time