T-category Remains an Important Prognostic Factor for Oropharyngeal Carcinoma in the Era of Human Papillomavirus

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Mackenzie, P.
Pryor, D.
Burmeister, Elizabeth
Foote, M.
Panizza, B.
Burmeister, Bryan H.
Porceddu, S.
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Aims: To determine prognostic factors for locoregional relapse (LRR), distant relapse and all-cause death in a contemporary cohort of locoregionally advanced oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) treated with definitive chemoradiotherapy or radiotherapy alone.

Materials and methods: OSCC patients treated with definitive radiotherapy between 2005 and 2010 were identified from a prospective head and neck database. Patient age, gender, smoking history, human papillomavirus (HPV) status, T- and N-category, lowest involved nodal level and gross tumour volume of the primary (GTV-p) and nodal (GTV-n) disease were analysed in relation to LRR, distant relapse and death by way of univariate and multivariate analysis.

Results: In total, 130 patients were identified, 88 HPV positive, with a median follow-up of 42 months. On multivariate analysis HPV status was a significant predictor of LRR (hazard ratio 0.15; 95% confidence interval 0.05–0.51) and death (hazard ratio 0.29; 95% confidence interval 0.14–0.59) but not distant relapse (hazard ratio 0.53, 95% confidence interval 0.22–1.27). Increasing T-category was associated with a higher risk of LRR (hazard ratio 1.80 for T3/4 versus T1/2; 95% confidence interval 1.08–2.99), death (hazard ratio 1.37, 95% confidence interval 1.06–1.77) and distant relapse (hazard ratio 1.35; 95% confidence interval 1.00–1.83). Increasing GTV-p was associated with increased risk of distant relapse and death. N3 disease and low neck nodes were significant for LRR, distant relapse and death on univariate analysis only.

Conclusion: Tumour HPV status was the strongest predictor of LRR and death. T-category is more predictive of distant relapse and may provide additional prognostic value for LRR and death when accounting for HPV status.

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Clinical Oncology
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Oncology and Carcinogenesis not elsewhere classified
Oncology and Carcinogenesis
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