Post-treatment surveillance (PTS) compliance is associated with improved survival in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, according to a recent study published online ahead of print in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Researchers led by Michael Deutschmann, MD, of the University of Kansas Medical Center conducted a retrospective cohort study that looked at 332 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma who completed treatment and follow-up.

The researchers looked at patient and tumor characteristics, socioeconomic status, and geographic data.

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They found that compliance with PTS, US Census tract income level and distance of travel for follow-up had significant impact on survival. Upon Cox proportional hazard models demonstrated that increased risk of death was significantly associated with more advanced disease, middle and moderate census tract income level, and age.

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In addition, there was an association between compliance and smoking cessation, as well as travel distance to the medical center.

“Patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma were significantly more likely to survive with completion of follow-up and tobacco cessation,” the authors concluded. “Compliance with PTS was associated with smoking cessation and traveling less than 200 miles for follow-up.”


  1. Deutschmann, Michael W., MD, et al. “The Impact of Compliance in Posttreatment Surveillance in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma.” JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2015.0643. [epub ahead of print]. May 7, 2015.