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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 49  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-20

Feasibility of organ-preservation strategies in head and neck cancer in developing countries

Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Center, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
N P Trivedi
Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Center, Narayana Hrudayalaya, Bangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-509X.98909

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Background: Chemoradiotherapy is an established strategy for organ preservation in head-neck cancer. These protocols are associated with added toxicity and need support infrastructure. Practice setup and availability of resources vary at the community level in developing countries. Aim: To evaluate the feasibility of organ-preservation strategies in different settings in developing countries. Settings and Design : Survey. Materials and Methods: In a questionnaire-based study, questions were directed to clinicians with varied practice setups to gather information regarding infrastructure, finance, and feasibility of organ-preservation protocols and their current practice trends. Statistical Analysis: Descriptive. Results: Responses from 100 clinicians with focused practice in head-neck oncology were analyzed. Sixty-one percent clinicians were practicing organ preservation for advanced head-neck cancers in their practice. However, 65% centers lacked sufficient infrastructure to support organ-preservation protocols. Forty percent patients were treated on cobalt-radiotherapy machine. Fifty-nine percent of clinicians suggested that less than third of their patients were fit to undergo chemoradiation and 67% believed that adherence to treatment protocol was observed in less than two-thirds of cases. Based on their experience 82% clinicians felt that only one-third patients requiring salvage would actually undergo treatment. The majority of the patients (68%) used personal funds for treatment and less than one-third of the patients could afford complete treatment. Conclusions: The infrastructure needed to support organ-preservation protocols varies significantly between centers in developing countries. It may not be feasible to perform organ-preservation strategies in certain centers and feasibility guidelines should be made for their judicious use in developing countries.


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