Treatment delays in surgically managed sinonasal cancer and association with survival

Alexander N. Goel, Jivianne T. Lee, Marilene B. Wang, Jeffrey D. Suh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Objective: To characterize treatment delays in sinonasal cancer managed with surgery and adjuvant radiation and determine the associated impact on survival. Study Design: Retrospective cohort study. Methods: We identified adults in the National Cancer Database treated for sinonasal squamous cell carcinoma with definitive surgery followed by adjuvant radiation from 2004 to 2014. We then examined intervals of diagnosis to surgery (DTS), surgery to radiation (SRT), and radiation duration (RTD). Next, we performed recursive partitioning analysis (RPA) to identify thresholds for these treatment intervals that estimated the greatest differences in survival. We determined the association of treatment delay with overall survival using Cox proportional hazards regression. Results: Among 2,267 patients included, median durations of DTS, SRT, and RTD were 32, 49, and 47 days, respectively. Predictors of treatment delay included care transitions, black race, and Medicare insurance. We identified thresholds of 26, 64, and 51 days for DTS, SRT, and RTD, respectively, as estimating the largest survival differences. Delays in SRT (hazard ratio [HR] 1.20; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.03–1.40), and RTD (HR, 1.27; 95% CI, 1.10–1.46) beyond these thresholds independently predicted mortality. Delay in DTS beyond the RPA-derived threshold was not significantly associated with mortality after adjusting for other covariates. Conclusion: Delays in SRT and RTD intervals are associated with decreased overall survival. Median durations may serve as national benchmarks. Treatment delays could be considered quality indicators for sinonasal cancer treated with surgery and adjuvant radiation. Level of Evidence: NA Laryngoscope, 130:2–11, 2020.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-11
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • National Cancer Database
  • Sinonasal cancer
  • postoperative radiation
  • squamous cell carcinoma
  • treatment delay


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