Clinical features and prognostic factors in patients with head and neck cancer: Results from a multicentric study

Gabriella Cadoni, Walter Ricciardi, Stefania Boccia, Emanuele Leoncini, Vladimir Vukovic, Roberta Pastorino, Dario Arzani, Livia Petrelli, Cristina Bosetti, Cristina Canova, Werner Garavello, Carlo La Vecchia, Milena Maule, Enrico Pira, Jerry Polesel, Lorenzo Richiardi, Diego Serraino, Lorenzo Simonato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether demographics, lifestyle habits, clinical data and alcohol dehydrogenase polymorphisms rs1229984 and rs1573496 associated with first primary head and neck (HNC) are associated with overall survival, recurrence, and second primary cancer (SPC). METHODS: We conducted a follow-up study in five centres including 801 cases. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated for overall survival, recurrence and SPC. RESULTS: Five-years overall survival was 62% for HNC cases, 55% for oral cavity, 53% for oropharynx, 41% for hypopharynx, and 71% for larynx. Predictors of survival were older ages (HR=1.18 for 5 years increase; CI: 1.07-1.30), higher tumour stage (HR=4.16; CI: 2.49-6.96), and high alcohol consumption (HR=3.93; CI: 1.79-8.63). A combined therapy (HR=3.29; CI: 1.18-9.13) was associated with a worst prognosis for oral cavity cancer. The only predictor was higher tumour stage (HR=2.25; CI: 1.26-4.03) for recurrence, and duration of smoking (HR=1.91; CI: 1.00-3.68) for SPC. ADH1B rs1229984 polymorphism HRs for HNC and oesophageal cancer death and for alcohol related cancer death were 0.67 (95% CI: 0.42-1.08), and 0.64 (95% CI: 0.40-1.03), respectively. CONCLUSIONS: The survival expectation differs among HNC sites. Increasing age and stage, and high alcohol consumption were unfavourable predictors of HNC survival overall. Duration of tobacco consumption before the first primary tumour was a risk factor for SPC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Recurrence
  • Second primary
  • Survival


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