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Head and Neck Cancer: A Review of the Impact of Treatment Delay on Outcome

Abstract

Delay between the initial symptoms, diagnosis, and the definitive treatment of head and neck cancers is associated with tumor progression and upstaging. These delays may lead to poor outcomes and may mandate more aggressive treatments with unnecessary morbidity and even mortality. The multidisciplinary team approach for the treatment of patients with head and neck cancers has improved organization of standard clinical guidelines, but this development has yet to translate into a demonstrable impact on survival. We review the association between waiting times (time between diagnosis and initiation of treatment) and clinical outcomes in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC).

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Acknowledgements

This article was written by members of the International Head and Neck Scientific Group (http://www.IHNSG.com).

Funding

No funding or sponsorship was received for this study or publication of this article.

Authorship

All named authors meet the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) criteria for authorship for this article, take responsibility for the integrity of the work as a whole, and have given their approval for this version to be published.

Disclosures

Andrés Coca-Pelaz, Robert P. Takes, Kate Hutcheson, Nabil F. Saba, Missak Haigentz Jr., Carol R. Bradford, Remco de Bree, Primož Strojan, Valerie J. Lund, William M. Mendenhall, Iain J. Nixon, Miquel Quer, Alessandra Rinaldo, and Alfio Ferlito have nothing to declare.

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

This article is based on previously conducted and reported studies and does contain studies with human participants performed by some of the authors, but does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. These previously reported studies are clearly referenced.

Data Availability

Data sharing is not applicable to this article as no datasets were generated or analyzed during the current study.

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Correspondence to Andrés Coca-Pelaz.

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Coca-Pelaz, A., Takes, R.P., Hutcheson, K. et al. Head and Neck Cancer: A Review of the Impact of Treatment Delay on Outcome. Adv Ther 35, 153–160 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12325-018-0663-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12325-018-0663-7

Keywords

  • Head and neck cancer
  • Oncology
  • Prognosis
  • Survival
  • Treatment
  • Waiting time