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Oral health in patients with different sites of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is not different

PLoS One. 2023 Oct 26;18(10):e0293665. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0293665. eCollection 2023.


Oral health might not only act as risk factor for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), but might also have a predictive value for the patients’ survival. Currently, information on the effect of oral health on survival of patients with different sites of HNSCC is lacking. This single-center retrospective study aimed to compare oral health in patients with different sites of HNSCC and to analyse whether oral health is associated with survival in the different subsets of HNSCC patients. Dental records of HNSCC patients referred for dental assessment prior to radio(chemo)therapy were included. Patient-related parameters (age at time of diagnosis, sex, tobacco exposure, alcohol consumption, HPV status), treatment data (primary treatment, intent), performance status, tumor demographics (anatomical site, TNM staging), and oral health parameters (DMFT, periodontal health, teeth with/without root canal treatment and with/without periodontitis apicalis) were obtained. Oral health parameters were compared between different anatomical sites. Survival of all HNSCC patients and of individual subsets was assessed using Kaplan-Meier statistics, and the effect of tumor demographics, patient-related parameters, and oral health on survival was analysed by cox regression analyses (α = 5%). 371 patients with HNSCC (oral: n = 86, oropharyngeal: n = 174, hypopharyngeal: n = 59, laryngeal: n = 15, other: n = 37) were included. Oral health parameters did not differ between subsets (padj.≥0.199). Five-year cumulative survival of HNSCC patients amounted to 78.6%. Only for HNSCC originating in the oral cavity and oropharynx, survival was associated with the treatment intent (p = 0.015) or performance status (p = 0.007) in the multivariable analyses, respectively. Within the limitations of this study, oral health was not different between different subsets and had no significant effect on survival of HNSCC patients.

PMID:37883511 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0293665

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