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Alvaro Sanabria MD, MSc, André Lopes Carvalho MD, PhD, José Guilherme Vartanian MD, José Magrin MD, PhD, Mauro Kasuo Ikeda MD, PhD, Luiz Paulo Kowalski MD, PhD
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The number of aged patients with head and neck cancer is increasing. Comorbidities are common in this population. It is necessary to evaluate the effect of comorbidities as measured with the ACE-27 index on recurrence and survival of elderly patients with head and neck cancer, adjusting by other prognostic factors as age, clinical stage and functional status index.
Three hundred and ten patients greater than 70 years of age with head and neck cancer in a referral cancer center were studied. Comorbidity measured with the ACE-27 index was the main independent variable. The outcomes were recurrence and survival.
Comorbidities were present in 75% of patients. Five-year disease-free survival, overall survival and cancer-specific survival were 63.1, 42.8 and 55.8%, respectively. Advanced clinical stage and Karnofsky index ≤70 were associated with recurrence. Age >80 years, male gender, Karnofsky index ≤80, advanced clinical stage, and ACE value ≥2 were independently associated with overall survival. The ACE-27 value was not associated with cancer-specific survival. The Karnofsky performance index was associated with overall survival and mortality and acted as a confounding factor on multivariable analysis on overall and cancer-specific survival.
Comorbidity measured with ACE-27 was a prognostic factor for overall survival in patients older than 70 years with head and neck cancer. The Karnofsky performance index could be included in multivariable analysis of survival for older patients with head and neck cancer.
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