Adjuvant therapies utilization pattern and survival outcomes in high-grade head and neck soft tissue sarcoma; a population based study

Omar Mahmoud, Robert Beck, Evelyne Kalyoussef, Richard Chan Park, Soly Baredes, Sung Kim, Michael A Samuels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose Head and neck soft tissue sarcoma (HNSTS) is a distinct entity within the soft tissue sarcoma group and the evidence supporting treatment options for this disease is poorly defined. Using the National Cancer Database, this study aims to reveal adjuvant therapy utilization patterns and their outcomes. Materials HNSTS patients constituted 6.5% of all sarcoma patients and the analysis was limited to non-metastatic patients who underwent resection between 2004 and 2012. Chi-square test assessed the distribution of demographic, tumor and treatment variables in the treatment subgroups. Kaplan-Meier method estimated overall survival and proportional hazards model estimated survival hazard ratios for prognostic factors including age, comorbidity, gender, race, size, grade, margin status, histology, chemotherapy administration and radiotherapy technique/dose. Results The cohort included 2493 patients with a median age of 62 years. Adjuvant therapies were more frequently delivered in high-grade, large tumors and with positive surgical margins. Limiting the analysis to 788 high-grade HNSTS patients, adjunctive radiotherapy improved 5-year survival from 44% (95% confidence interval (CI): 38–50) to 49% (CI: 43–55); reducing mortality hazards ratio by 24% (p < 0.001). On multivariate analysis, older age, positive surgical margins and large tumor size were significant predictors of poor survival. These findings were consistent after propensity score analysis. Conclusion Our analysis suggests that adjuvant radiotherapy is associated with improved survival in high-grade HNSTS. Higher dose and precise technique did not accentuate this benefit; however, further studies are needed to refine the treatment strategies, including the role of chemotherapy in the management of this rare disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28-37
Number of pages10
JournalOral Oncology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017


  • Adjuvant chemotherapy
  • Adjuvant radiotherapy
  • Head and neck soft tissue sarcoma
  • Survival outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oral Surgery
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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