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Prolonged Time to Postop Radiation Linked to Worse Survival in Oral Cavity Cancer

Worse overall survival seen for prolonged median time from surgery to initiation of postoperative radiation

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, July 12, 2023 (HealthDay News) — For patients with oral cavity cancer, prolonged surgery to initiation of postoperative radiation therapy (S-PORT) is associated with worse overall survival, according to a study published online July 9 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery to coincide with the American Head and Neck Society 11th International Conference on Head and Neck Cancer, held from July 8 to 12 in Montreal.

Gabriel S. Dayan, M.D., from the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, and colleagues conducted a multicenter cohort study at eight academic centers to report treatment delays for patients with oral cavity cancer who underwent surgery and adjuvant radiation therapy. Data were included for 1,368 patients.

The researchers found that the median S-PORT interval was 56 days, and 80 percent of patients waited more than 42 days. The median radiation therapy interval (RTI) was 43 days, with 26 percent of patients having an interval of more than 46 days. Between institutions, there were variations in treatment time for the S-PORT interval and RTI. In the cohort, three-year overall survival was 68 percent. Patients with a prolonged S-PORT interval had worse survival at three years in a univariate analysis (66 versus 77 percent; odds ratio, 1.75), whereas no association was seen for a prolonged RTI with overall survival. A prolonged S-PORT interval remained independently associated with overall survival in the multivariable model (hazard ratio, 1.39).

“Unlike patient and tumor-intrinsic factors associated with mortality in head and neck cancer, treatment delays represent a modifiable risk factor and should be prioritized by the multidisciplinary teams,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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