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Did the addition of concomitant chemotherapy to radiotherapy improve outcomes in hypopharyngeal cancer? A population-based study


Background — For oncologists and for patients, no site-specific clinical trial evidence has emerged for the use of concurrent chemotherapy with radiotherapy (CCRT) over radiotherapy (RT) alone for cancer of the hypopharynx (HPC) or for other human papilloma virus–negative head-and-neck cancers.

Methods — This retrospective population-based cohort study using administrative data compared treatments over time (1990–2000 vs. 2000–2010), treatment outcomes, and outcomes over time in 1333 cases of HPC diagnosed in Ontario between January 1990 and December 2010.

Results — The incidence of HPC is declining; the use of CCRT that began in 2001 is increasing; and the 3-year overall survival for all patients remains poor at 34.6%. No difference in overall survival was observed in a comparison of patients treated in the decade before CCRT and of patients treated in the decade during the uptake of CCRT.

Conclusions — The addition of CCRT to the armamentarium of treatment options for oncologists treating head-and neck patients did not improve outcomes for HPC at the population level.



Hall SF, Griffiths R. Curr Oncol. 2016; 23(4):266-72.

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