Get access

Never-smokers, never-drinkers: Unique clinical subgroup of young patients with head and neck squamous cell cancers

Authors

  • Stephen L. Harris MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    • Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Randall J. Kimple MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. Neil Hayes MD, MPH,

    1. Department of Medical Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Marion E. Couch MD, PhD,

    1. Department of Otolaryngology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Julian G. Rosenman MD, PhD

    1. Department of Radiation Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    2. Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    Search for more papers by this author

  • Presented in abstract form at the 50th Meeting of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology (ASTRO) in Boston, MA, September 21–25, 2008.

Abstract

Background.

Young patients represent an increasing subgroup with head and neck cancer.

Methods.

Patients between 18 and 39 years of age with newly diagnosed and previously untreated squamous cell cancers were identified.

Results.

Seventy-eight patients met the selection criteria: 28 patients were never-smokers/never-drinkers (NSNDs), and 50 patients reported tobacco or alcohol abuse (smokers and/or drinkers [SD]). NSND patients were diagnosed at a younger median age (31.5 years vs 35.5 years, p = .007), were more likely to be female (75% vs 30%, p < .001) and white (89% vs 60%, p = .006), and were more likely to have tumors of the oral tongue (57% vs 24%, p = .003) and T1 disease (47% vs 20%, p = .01). There was no difference in 10-year relapse-free survival, but a suggestion of improved 10-year overall survival for NSND patients (71% vs 46%, p = .10).

Conclusions.

Young patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) appear to have unique clinical profiles based on history of alcohol and tobacco abuse. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2010

Ancillary