Epidemiologic factors in patients with advanced head and neck cancer treated with radiation therapy

Michael T. Brennan, Nathaniel S. Treister, Thomas P. Sollecito, Brian L. Schmidt, Lauren L. Patton, Yi Yang, Alexander Lin, Linda S. Elting, James S. Hodges, Rajesh V. Lalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Approximately 50% of patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) initially were seen with advanced disease. We aimed to evaluate the association of epidemiologic factors with advanced HNC at diagnosis. Methods: The OraRad multicenter prospective cohort study enrolled HNC patients receiving curative-intent radiation therapy. Factors assessed for association with advanced HNC presentation at diagnosis included demographics, social and medical history, cancer characteristics, human papilloma virus (HPV) status, and dental disease measures. Results: We enrolled 572 participants; 77% male and mean (SD) age of 61.7 (11.2) years. Oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas (88% HPV-related) were seen with smaller tumors, but more frequent nodal involvement. Private medical insurance and no Medicaid were associated with smaller tumors. A higher dental disease burden was associated with larger tumors. Conclusions: Insurance status, cancer type/location, and dental disease are associated with advanced HNC and may represent potentially modifiable factors or factors to be considered in the screening process of new lesions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-172
Number of pages9
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • baseline features
  • dental health
  • epidemiology
  • head and neck cancer
  • radiotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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