Background: By investigating treatment patterns and outcomes in locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (LA-HNSCC), we aimed at providing valuable insights into the optimal therapeutic strategy for physicians in real-world practice. Methods: This is a multi-institutional study enrolled the patients with stage III to IVB LA-HNSCC, except for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, from 2004 to 2015 in thirteen referral hospitals capable of multidisciplinary care. Results: A total of 445 LA-HNSCC patients were analyzed. The median age was 61 years (range, 24-89). The primary tumor location was the oropharynx in 191 (43%), oral cavity in 106 (24%), hypopharynx in 64 (14%), larynx in 57 (13%) and other sites in 27 (6%). The most common stage was T2 in 172 (39%), and N2 in 245 (55%). Based on treatment intents, 229 (52%) of the patients received definitive concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) and 187 (42%) underwent surgery. Approximately 158 (36%) of the study population received induction chemotherapy (IC). Taken together, 385 (87%) of the patients underwent combined therapeutic modalities. The regimen for definitive CCRT was weekly cisplatin in 58%, 3-weekly cisplatin in 28% and cetuximab in 3%. The preferred regimen for IC was docetaxel with cisplatin in 49%, and docetaxel, cisplatin plus fluorouracil in 27%. With a median follow-up of 39 months, one-year and two-year survival rates were 89 and 80%, respectively. Overall survival was not significantly different between CCRT and surgery group (p = 0.620). Conclusions: In patients with LA-HNSCC, the majority of patients received combined therapeutic modalities. Definitive CCRT, IC then definitive CCRT, and surgery followed by adjuvant CCRT or radiotherapy are the preferred multidisciplinary strategies in real-world practice.
- Locally advanced head and neck cancer
- Multidisciplinary treatment
- Squamous cell carcinoma