Matched Analysis of Survival in Patients With Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck Diagnosed Before and After 40 Years of Age

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Abstract

Objectives

To compare the survival rates of patients 40 years or younger and diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) with those of patients older than 40 years who underwent the same treatment. In 2 previous matched-pair analyses, the patients had been matched for tumor stage, site, sex, and date of presentation but not type of treatment.

Methods

Between 1995 and 2001, 46 patients 40 years or younger participated in a prospective epidemiologic study that included more than 500 patients newly diagnosed with SCCHN. We matched each of these patients by sex, race, tumor site, overall stage, and treatment modality with 2 patients older than 40 years. Ultimately, 31 of the younger patients were matched with 62 of the older patients. Survival analysis was performed using Cox proportional hazard models and accounting for the matched trios.

Results

There was no difference in overall, disease-specific, or recurrence-free survival rates between the patients who were 40 years or younger and those older than 40 years. Furthermore, matched survival analysis did not demonstrate a difference in overall survival rate (risk ratio [RR], 0.71; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.22–2.29; P = .56), disease-free survival rate (RR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.20–3.33; P = .79), or time to recurrence (RR, 1.46; 95% CI, 0.50–4.23; P = .49), and was not affected by adjustment for medical comorbidities or the severity of cancer-associated symptoms.

Conclusions

We found no evidence of a difference in the survival rates of patients with SCCHN who were 40 years or younger or older than 40 years and underwent similar treatment at our institution.

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