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Open Access Research

Outcomes and patterns of care of patients with locally advanced oropharyngeal carcinoma treated in the early 21st century

Adam S Garden1*, Merrill S Kies2, William H Morrison1, Randal S Weber3, Steven J Frank1, Bonnie S Glisson2, Gary B Gunn1, Beth M Beadle1, K Kian Ang1, David I Rosenthal1 and Erich M Sturgis34

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

2 Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medicine, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

3 Department of Head and Neck Surgery, University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

4 Department of Epidemiology, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, USA

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Radiation Oncology 2013, 8:21  doi:10.1186/1748-717X-8-21

Published: 29 January 2013

Abstract

Background

We performed this study to assess outcomes of patients with oropharyngeal cancer treated with modern therapy approaches.

Methods

Demographics, treatments and outcomes of patients diagnosed with Stage 3- 4B squamous carcinoma of the oropharynx, between 2000 – 2007 were tabulated and analyzed.

Results

The cohort consisted of 1046 patients. The 5- year actuarial overall survival, recurrence-free survival and local-regional control rates for the entire cohort were 78%, 77% and 87% respectively. More advanced disease, increasing T-stage and smoking were associated with higher rates of local-regional recurrence and poorer survival.

Conclusions

Patients with locally advanced oropharyngeal cancer have a relatively high survival rate. Patients’ demographics and primary tumor volume were very influential on these favorable outcomes. In particular, patients with small primary tumors did very well even when treatment was not intensified with the addition of chemotherapy.

Keywords:
Radiation; Oropharyngeal cancer; IMRT; Chemoradiation; Squamous cell