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Patients with head and neck cancer: are they frailer than patients with other solid malignancies

Bras, L., Driessen, D. A. J. J., Vries, de, J., Festen, S., van der Laan, B. F. A. M., van Leeuwen, B. L., de Bock, G. H. & Halmos, G. B., 30-Sep-2019, (Accepted/In press) In : European journal of cancer care. 9 p., 13170.

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Background: We aimed to compare frailty status between patients with head and neck cancer (HNC) and other solid malignancies.

Methods: Data collection was prospective, and the following were compared between cohorts at baseline: patient and tumour characteristics, Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI), Groningen Frailty Indicator (GFI), Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE), Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), Instrumental ADLs (IADLs), Timed Up and Go (TUG), and Quality of Life (QoL). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed, and odds ratios (ORs) with their 95% confidence intervals (95%CIs) were estimated.

Results: In total, 242 patients with HNC and 180 with other oncology diagnoses were enrolled, of whom 32.6% and 21.8% were frail according to the GFI, respectively. Comorbidity scores were not significantly different between the cohorts (7.4% versus 13.1%; OR 0.54; 95%CI 0.28–1.02). In the univariate analysis, the GFI was significantly worse in the HNC cohort (OR 1.74; 95%CI 1.11–2.71). However, in the multivariate analysis, the MMSE, TUG, and global QoL were significantly worse in the HNC cohort, with ORs of 20.03 (95%CI 2.44–164.31), 11.56 (95%CI 1.86–71.68), and 0.98 (95%CI 0.97–1.00), respectively.

Conclusion: patients with HNC appear to be frailer than patients with other solid malignancies despite comparable levels of comorbidity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13170
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean journal of cancer care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30-Sep-2019

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