Clinical Research Papers:

Effect of interrupted time during intensity modulated radiation therapy on survival outcomes in patients with nasopharyngeal cancer

Guo-Zeng Xu _, Ling Li and Xiao-Dong Zhu

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:37817-37825. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.13713

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Guo-Zeng Xu1, Ling Li1 and Xiao-Dong Zhu1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, People’s Republic of China

Correspondence to:

Xiao-Dong Zhu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: nasopharyngeal cancer, interrupted time, intensity modulated radiotherapy, survival outcomes, prognosis

Received: July 14, 2016     Accepted: November 14, 2016     Published: November 30, 2016


Objective: To evaluate the influence of interrupted time (IT) during intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) on survival outcomes in patients with nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC).

Materials and methods: 515 NPC patients receiving IMRT between January 2007 and December 2011 were retrospectively reviewed. The association of IT with loco-regional failure-free survival (LRFS), progression free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) was assessed by univariate and multivariate analysis. The Kaplan–Meier methodology was used for survival analyses and the differences among groups were assessed by the log-rank test. The Cox model was used for evaluating the prognostic factors for LRFS, PFS, and OS.

Results: The 3-year PFS and OS analysis revealed significant difference between patients with a IT >4 days and those with a IT ≤4 days (72.1% vs 81.9%, p <0.05; 80.8% vs 87.9%, p <0.05). Age (≥44 years vs <44 years), T classification, N classification, and IT (>4 days vs ≤4 days) were independent prognostic factors for PFS and OS, respectively (p <0.05). Only N classification acted as the prognostic factor for LRFS (p <0.05).

Conclusion: The IT of more than 4 days during IMRT may affect survival outcomes of NPC patients. We should minimize the interruption of radiotherapy caused by any reason as much as possible.

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