Veterans May Face Poorer Oral, Throat Cancer Outcomes

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In veterans, oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is associated with traditional carcinogens and poor clinical outcomes.
In veterans, oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is associated with traditional carcinogens and poor clinical outcomes.

In veterans, oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is associated with traditional carcinogens and poor clinical outcomes, according to a study published in Head & Neck.

Vlad C. Sandulache, M.D., Ph.D., from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and colleagues evaluated patient, tumor, and treatment characteristics for 200 veterans treated for oropharyngeal SCC between 2000 and 2012.

The researchers found that most patients (77 percent) were white and heavy smokers. During treatment, 27 patients required tracheostomy and 63 required gastrostomy placement.

At five years, overall survival (OS) was 40 percent. T classification, treatment intensity, completion of treatment, and p16 tumor status all impacted survival.

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Completion of a treatment regimen consistent with National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines was unattainable by almost 30 percent of patients.

"Oropharyngeal SCC in veterans is associated with traditional carcinogens and poor clinical outcomes," the authors write. "Careful consideration must be given to improving treatment paradigms for this cohort given their limited tolerance for treatment escalation."

Reference

  1. Sandulache VC, Hamblin J, Lai S, et al. Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma in the veteran population: Association with traditional carcinogen exposure and poor clinical outcomes. Head & Neck. 2015. [epub ahead of print]. DOI: 10.1002/hed.23740.

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