Impact of comorbidity on initial treatment and overall survival in elderly head and neck cancer patients

Saurin Chokshi, Armin Ghobadi, Mohammed Athar, Sachin Shah, Jonathan Dowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Comorbidity is a determinant of treatment selection and survival in various cancers including head and neck cancer (HNC) and is often associated with a higher utilization of non-curative intent treatment. Patients and Methods: In this retrospective study we analyzed 182 consecutively treated HNC patients >65 years old at the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center from January 2000-June 2007. Comorbidity was assessed with the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI). Treatment was classified as curative vs. non-curative intent. Results: Median overall survival was 883 days. Patients with a CCI score 0-2 had non-significant higher rate of curative intent treatment than patients with CCI score >2 (83.8% vs. 74.6%, p=0.13). In multivariate analysis, only stage had significant prognostic importance (hazard ratio (HR) 1.66; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.29-2.14; p<0.0005). In separate multivariate analyses of patients treated with surgery or chemoradiation, CCI was not a significant predictor of survival with HR of 0.88 (95% CI 0.69-1.11; p=0.29) and 1.13 (95% CI 0.83-1.53; p=0.44), respectively. Conclusion: In our elderly HNC population, CCI was not an independent predictor of selection of curative intent treatment or overall survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5543-5546
Number of pages4
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • Charlson comorbidity index
  • Comorbidity
  • Elderly
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Survival.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of comorbidity on initial treatment and overall survival in elderly head and neck cancer patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this