Institutional Clinical Trial Accrual Volume and Survival of Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Evan J. Wuthrick, Qiang Zhang, Mitchell Machtay, David I. Rosenthal, Phuc Felix Nguyen-Tan, André Fortin, Craig L. Silverman, Adam Raben, Harold E. Kim, Eric M. Horwitz, Nancy E. Read, Jonathan Harris, Qian Wu, Quynh Thu Le, Maura L. Gillison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

142 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) receive treatment at centers with expertise, but whether provider experience affects survival is unknown. Patients and Methods The effect of institutional experience on overall survival (OS) in patients with stage III or IV HNC was investigated within a randomized trial of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG 0129), which compared cisplatin concurrent with standard versus accelerated fractionation radiotherapy. As a surrogate for experience, institutions were classified as historically low- (HLACs) or high-accruing centers (HHACs) based on accrual to 21 RTOG HNC trials (1997 to 2002). The effect of accrual volume on OS was estimated by Cox proportional hazards models. Results Median RTOG accrual (1997 to 2002) at HLACs was four versus 65 patients at HHACs. Analysis included 471 patients in RTOG 0129 (2002 to 2005) with known human papillomavirus and smoking status. Patients at HLACs versus HHACs had better performance status (0: 62% v 52%; P = .04) and lower T stage (T4: 26.5% v 35.3%; P = .002) but were otherwise similar. Radiotherapy protocol deviations were higher at HLACs versus HHACs (18% v 6%; P = .001). When compared with HHACs, patients at HLACs had worse OS (5 years: 51.0% v 69.1%; P < .002). Treatment at HLACs was associated with increased death risk of 91% (hazard ratio [HR], 1.91; 95% CI, 1.37 to 2.65) after adjustment for prognostic factors and 72% (HR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.23 to 2.40) after radiotherapy compliance adjustment. Conclusion OS is worse for patients with HNC treated at HLACs versus HHACs to cooperative group trials after accounting for radiotherapy protocol deviations. Institutional experience substantially influences survival in locally advanced HNC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-164
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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