Head/neck cancer: adjuvant radiation tied to increased risk for thyroid disorders

  • Lin CL & al.
  • BMC Cancer
  • 16 May 2019

  • curated by Brian Richardson, PhD
  • Univadis Clinical Summaries
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Takeaway

  • Radiotherapy is associated with increased risk for thyroid disorders in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) who underwent primary tumor excision (PTE) with additional neck dissection (ND), according to a nationwide cohort study.

Why this matters

  • Associations between treatment modality and risk for thyroid disorder are unclear.

Key results

  • In patients who underwent PTE with ND, radiotherapy (aHR, 3.64; 95% CI, 2.28-5.81) and concomitant chemoradiotherapy (aHR, 1.70; 95% CI, 1.05-2.77) were associated with increased risk for thyroid disorder.
  • Radiotherapy and concomitant chemoradiotherapy were not significantly associated with risk for thyroid disorder in patients who underwent PTE alone (aHR, 1.41 [95% CI, 0.56-3.58] and aHR, 1.51 [95% CI, 0.54-4.23], respectively).
  • Risk for thyroid disorder was not significantly associated with tumor site or repeat surgery (P>.05).

Study design

  • 11,190 patients with HNC, 3730 who underwent PTE alone, and 7460 who underwent PTE with ND, were included after propensity-score matching.
  • Funding: Chimei Medical Center, Taiwan.

Limitations

  • Retrospective study design.
  • No cancer staging or radiation dose information.