Delays in definitive cervical cancer treatment: An analysis of disparities and overall survival impact

Stephen J Ramey, David Asher, Deukwoo Kwon, Awad A. Ahmed, Aaron H. Wolfson, Raphael Yechieli, Lorraine Portelance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Objective: Delays in time to treatment initiation (TTI) with definitive radiation therapy (RT) or chemotherapy and RT (CRT) for cervical cancer could lead to poorer outcomes. This study investigates disparities in TTI and the impact of TTI on overall survival (OS). Methods: Adult women with non-metastatic cervical squamous cell carcinoma diagnosed between 2004 and 2014, treated with definitive RT or CRT, and reported to the National Cancer Database were included. TTI was defined as days from diagnosis to start of RT or CRT. The impact of TTI on OS in patients treated with concurrent CRT which included brachytherapy was then assessed. Results: Overall, 14,924 patients were included (84.7% CRT, 15.3% RT). TTI was significantly longer for Non-Hispanic Black (NHB) (RR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.18) and Hispanic women (RR, 1.19; 95% CI, 1.15 to 1.24) compared to Non-Hispanic White (NHW) women. Expected TTI (eTTI) for NHW, NHB, and Hispanic women were 38.1, 45.2, and 49.4 days. eTTI rose from 36.2 days in 2004 to 44.3 days by 2014. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) was associated with increased eTTI of 46.5 days versus 40.0 days for non-IMRT. Longer TTI was not associated with inferior OS in patients treated with concurrent CRT. Conclusions: Delays in starting RT/CRT for cervical cancer increased from 2004 to 2014. Delays disproportionately affect NHB and Hispanic women. However, increased TTI was not associated with increased mortality for women receiving CRT. Further study of TTI's impact on other endpoints is warranted to determine if TTI represents an important quality indicator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-62
Number of pages10
JournalGynecologic Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cervical cancer
  • Chemoradiation
  • Disparity
  • Ethnic
  • NCDB
  • Racial
  • Radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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