Matted nodes: High distant-metastasis risk and a potential indication for intensification of systemic therapy in human papillomavirus-related oropharyngeal cancer.

Published on Apr 1, 2016in Head and Neck-journal for The Sciences and Specialties of The Head and Neck2.538
· DOI :10.1002/HED.24105
Jeffrey M. Vainshtein16
Estimated H-index: 16
(UM: University of Michigan),
Matthew E. Spector26
Estimated H-index: 26
(UM: University of Michigan)
+ 9 AuthorsAvraham Eisbruch81
Estimated H-index: 81
(UM: University of Michigan)
Background The purpose of this study was to determine whether matted nodes uniquely identify patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer at disproportionately high distant failure risk who may benefit from intensified systemic therapy. Methods One hundred seventy-eight patients with stage III/IV HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer who completed definitive chemoradiotherapy were stratified by risk group (low-risk = T1–3/N0–2c/<10 pack-years; intermediate-risk = T1–3/N0–2c/≥10 pack-years; and high-risk = T4 or N3). Prognostic impact of matted nodes was assessed. Results At the 52-month median follow-up, event rates with and without matted nodes were: locoregional failure: 23.3% versus 12.8% (p = .16), distant failure: 50.0% versus 1.4% (p < .01), any failure: 73.3% versus 14.2% (p < .01); cause-specific mortality: 56.7% versus 5.4% (p < .01), and death: 56.7% versus 13.5% (p < .01). In multivariate analyses, including risk group and individual risk factors, matted nodes were the strongest predictor for all endpoints except locoregional failure. Among patients without matted nodes, risk-group discriminated locoregional failure (at 3 years: low-risk = 2.0%; intermediate-risk = 14.4%; and high-risk = 24.2%; p < .01), but not distant failure (low-risk = 0.0%; intermediate-risk = 2.1%; and high-risk = 3.8%; p = .53). Conclusion Matted nodes portended dramatically increased distant failure and death risks in HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer, identifying a candidate population for consideration of chemo-intensification. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2015
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