Author(s): Mick R, Vokes EE, Weichselbaum RR, Panje WR, Mick R, Vokes EE, Weichselbaum RR, Panje WR
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Abstract A retrospective analysis was performed to investigate potential prognostic factors for complete remission to neoadjuvant chemotherapy and overall survival in patients with previously untreated stage III and stage IV head and neck cancer. Eighty consecutive patients were treated in one of two studies investigating three or four courses of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Before local therapy and surgery and/or radiotherapy, 29\% attained a complete remission. No strong significant and independent predictor of complete remission was identified. Only nodal stage (N) was found moderately associated with complete remission (p = 0.06). Node-negative patients had higher remission rates. Less important predictors were tumor stage (T) and site of disease; nasopharyngeal patients had superior remission rates (56\%). With a median followup of 45 months and estimated 3-year survival rate of 38\% (median 23.7 months), individual factors predictive of survival included pretherapy weight loss, performance status, alcohol use, pretherapy serum albumin level, site of disease, and N stage. In multivariate testing weight loss was identified as the strongest independent predictor of survival (p less than 0.0001) and surpassed other health status measures, such as performance status and serum albumin level. In addition, N stage (p = 0.019) and alcohol use (p = 0.017) were found to be predictive. A cross-classification by N stage and weight loss revealed risk groups with distinctly different prognoses, which may be useful for design and analysis in future trials.
This article was published in Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg
and referenced in Otolaryngology: Open Access