Medline: 8888257

Radiology 201(2): 553-558, 1996.

Anemia is associated with lower local-regional control and survival after radiation therapy for head and neck cancer: a prospective study.

Dubray B, Mosseri V, Brunin F, et al.

Abstract:

Purpose:
To evaluate the prognostic value of anemia in squamous cell carcinomas in the head and neck treated with curative radiation therapy alone.

Materials and Methods:
In a prospective study, the hemoglobin level was measured prior to radiation therapy in 217 patients (188 [87%] men and 29 [13%] women) with cancer of the oral cavity (n = 61 [28%]), oropharynx (n = 53 [24%]), hypopharynx (n = 21 [10%]), and larynx (n = 82 [38%]). Anemia, defined as hemoglobin level below 13.5 g/dL in men and below 12.0 g/dL in women, was diagnosed in 58 (31%) of the men and five (17%) of the women. Median follow-up was 29 months (range, 2-63 months).

Results:
The 2-year actuarial probability of local-regional control was 69% (95% confidence interval, 63%, 76%). Multivariate analysis showed the relative risk of failure of local-regional control to increase for stage T3 and T4 tumors (1.8 [95% confidence interval, 1.1, 3.1]), stage N3 nodes (3.6 [95% confidence interval, 1.8, 7.1]), weight loss (2.2 [95% confidence interval, 1.3, 4.0]), and anemia (1.6 [95% confidence interval, 1.0-2.7]). The relative risk of death increased for stage T3 and T4 tumors (2.5 [95% confidence interval, 1.4, 4.3]), N3 nodes (4.0 [95% confidence interval, 1.0, 7.9]), oral cavity tumors (2.0 [95% confidence interval, 1.2, 3.2]), male sex (4.1 [95% confidence interval, 1.3, 13.1]), weight loss (2.2 [95% confidence interval, 1.3, 3.7]), and anemia (1.7 [95% confidence interval, 1.03, 2.7]).

Conclusion:
Moderate anemia appeared to be an independent prognostic factor in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with radiation therapy alone.


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