Rhabdomyosarcoma of the head and neck: impact of demographic and clinicopathologic factors on survival

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Abstract

Objective.

To determine the survival factors for patients diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma of the head and neck.

Study Design.

Data on patients diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma of the head and neck between 1973 and 2012 were extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Kaplan-Meier and Cox proportional hazard regression models were used to determine the demographic characteristics, prognostic factors, and treatment modalities that determine overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS).

Results.

Data on 503 patients diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma of the head and neck were analyzed; 51.3% were male and 48.7% were female, with a median OS of 4.9 years. Kaplan-Meier analysis determined 5-year survival rates of 30% for OS and 50% for DSS. Multivariate analysis found that age at diagnosis, tumor extent of disease, surgical resection, and radiation therapy were independent predictors of OS and DSS.

Conclusions.

To our knowledge, this is the largest year-span study to date to determine the factors of survival for rhabdomyosarcoma of the head and neck. Older age at diagnosis, histologic subtype of alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, and further extent of disease were associated with decreased survival. Surgical resection improves survival in patients with localized or regional disease, and radiation therapy confers survival benefits in patients with distant extent.

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