HNC: smoking at diagnosis contributes to overall mortality

  • Beynon RA & al.
  • Int J Cancer
  • 1 Apr 2018

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

  • A prospective, observational study suggests that current smoking status at time of diagnosis is associated with increased all-cause mortality in patients with head and neck cancer (HNC).

Why this matters

  • Despite a well-known association with HNC risk, the prognostic role of smoking status at diagnosis was less clear.

Key results

  • Current smokers (HR, 1.71; P=.001) and former smokers (HR, 1.4; P=.001) had increased all-cause mortality risk compared with never smokers.
  • In subgroup analysis, current smoking was associated with increased all-cause mortality risk in patients with oropharyngeal (HR, 1.8; P=.008) and laryngeal cancer (HR, 2.3; P=.011).
  • Hazardous/harmful alcohol drinking (HR, 1.1; P=.314) was not significantly associated with mortality.
  • HPV status did not significantly modify the association between smoking and mortality (P=.263).

Study design

  • 1393 patients with HNC from the prospective Head and Neck 5000 study were analyzed for factors associated with all-cause mortality.
    • 403 patients had oral cavity cancer, 660 had oropharyngeal cancer, and 330 had laryngeal cancer.
  • Funding: National Institute for Health Research (UK).

Limitations

  • Smoking and alcohol intake were self-reported.
  • Observational study design.

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