Practice patterns for oropharyngeal cancer in radiation oncology centers of Turkey

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Aims and background.

The aim of the study was to review the current clinical practices of radiation oncologists involved in the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer.

Methods and study design.

The daily practices of radiation oncology centers for patients diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer in 2010 were evaluated by a two-part questionnaire that separately assessed the information of the participating center and the charts of the treated patients.


A total of 22 centers participated in the study, and 105 oropharyngeal cancer patients reported for our review. The use of positron emission tomography was a common practice in staging and radiotherapy planning. Multidisciplinary head and neck cancer clinics were available in 14 (64%) centers and were absent in 8 centers. Thirty-six of the 105 patients were not evaluated by a multidisciplinary clinic before the initiation of therapy, and adjuvant radiotherapy administration was found to be higher in this group. Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube placement was not a routine practice in any of the centers. Seventy-five patients received chemotherapy -46 concurrently with radiotherapy and 29 as induction chemotherapy. Two centers administered conventional radiotherapy alone, 20 centers conformal radiotherapy, and 7 centers were able to provide intensity-modulated radiotherapy.


Across all the centers there were small differences in the pretreatment evaluation of patients with oropharyngeal cancer. The greatest difference was in the technical delivery of radiation, with most of the centers using conformal radiotherapy despite the increasing availability of intensity-modulated radiotherapy. The use of chemotherapy has more readily adopted the current international standards in the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer.

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