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Clinical impact of delaying initiation of radiotherapy in patients with breast cancer: stages 0, I and II, a retrospective observational study

  • Raquel Cobos Campos (a1), Antxon Apiñaniz Fernández de Larrinoa (a2), Arantza Sáez de Lafuente Moriñigo (a1), Naiara Parraza Diez (a1), Felipe Aizpuru Barandiaran (a1) (a3) (a4), Avelino Alia Ramos (a5) and Aurora Lasso Varela (a6)...



There is no consensus on how long the initiation of radiotherapy (RT) can be delayed after surgery without a negative impact on survival.

Materials and methods

We conducted a retrospective study of 278 patients with stage 0–II breast cancer, all of whom were treated with surgery and RT, with those at stages I–II also receiving chemotherapy. Patients were followed-up for 5 years after diagnosis to assess disease-free and overall survival.The independent variable was the delay in the initiation of RT, assessed by two criteria: time since the last treatment, considered acceptable if ≤6 weeks, and time since surgery, considered acceptable if ≤7 months, these cut-offs being used to categorise patients into two groups according to the length of delay.


No statistically significant differences were observed in the probability of disease-free survival (p=0·412) or overall survival (p=0·890). The appearance of recurrence was 5–59 months, with an average of 38·50 (14·31).


Delaying the initiation of RT for more than 6 weeks after last treatment does not seem to have a negative impact on disease-free or overall survival.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Aurora Lasso Varela, Oncology Radiotherapy Service, Cruces University Hospital, Cruces square, 12, 48903 Barakaldo, Vizkaya, Spain. Tel: 946006398. Fax: 945007413. E-mail:


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Clinical impact of delaying initiation of radiotherapy in patients with breast cancer: stages 0, I and II, a retrospective observational study

  • Raquel Cobos Campos (a1), Antxon Apiñaniz Fernández de Larrinoa (a2), Arantza Sáez de Lafuente Moriñigo (a1), Naiara Parraza Diez (a1), Felipe Aizpuru Barandiaran (a1) (a3) (a4), Avelino Alia Ramos (a5) and Aurora Lasso Varela (a6)...


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