Determining the survival benefit of adjuvant radiotherapy in patients with node-positive head and neck cancer. Commentary

Giuseppe Sanguineti, Arlene A. Forastiere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Whether postoperative radiotherapy improves survival compared with surgery alone in patients with head and neck cancer remains unclear. This Practice Point commentary discusses the findings of a study by Kao et al. who used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database to look for evidence of improved overall survival in patients with node-positive head and neck cancer. The analysis included 5,297 eligible patients who were treated with first-line surgery, of whom 4,307 (81%) received adjuvant radiotherapy. On multivariate analysis, adjuvant radiotherapy, age, primary tumor site, tumor and nodal stage were significant predictors of overall survival. While these results show an association between the use of adjuvant radiotherapy and improved overall survival in a selected group of patients, several aspects of the study limit its interpretation. Whether there is a causal relationship between postoperative radiotherapy and the observed overall survival benefit remains undetermined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-695
Number of pages2
JournalNature Clinical Practice Oncology
Volume5
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Determining the survival benefit of adjuvant radiotherapy in patients with node-positive head and neck cancer. Commentary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this