Survival in Head and Neck Cancers - Results of A Multi- Institution Study


Background: The prime output of Hospital Based Cancer Registries is stage and treatment based survival to evaluate patient care, but because of challenges of obtaining follow-up details a separate study on Patterns of Care and Survival for selected sites was initiated under the National Cancer Registry Programme of India. The results of stage and treatment based survival for head and neck cancers by individual organ sites are presented. Materials and Methods: A standardized Patient Information Form recorded the details and entered on-line at to a central repository - National Centre for Disease Informatics and Research. Cases from 12 institutions diagnosed between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2008 comprised the study subjects. The patterns of treatment were examined for 14053 and survival for 4773 patients from five institutions who reported at least 70% follow-up as of 31 December 2012. Results: Surgical treatment with radiation for cancer tongue and mouth showed five year cumulative survival (FCS) of 67.5% and 60.4% respectively for locally advanced stage. Chemo-radiation compared to radiation alone showed better survival benefit of around 15% in both oro and hypo-pharyngeal cancers and their FCS was 40.0%; Hazard Ratio (HR):1.5;CI=1.2-1.9) and 38.7%; (HR):1.7; CI=1.3-2.2). Conclusions: The awareness about the requirement of concurrent chemo-radiation in specifically cancers of the oro and hypopharynx has to be promoted in developing countries. The annual (2014) estimate number of new Head and Neck cancers with locally advanced disease in India is around 140,000 and 91,000 (65%) patients do not receive the benefit of optimal treatment with ensuing poorer survival.