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Study suggests current smokers have higher risk of recurrence after chemoradiation

-- Rick Ansorge

Friday, February 19, 2010 (Last Updated: 02/22/2010)

FRIDAY, Feb. 19 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with advanced human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx (SCCOP) who achieve a complete response to chemoradiation therapy, current smokers are at higher risk of disease recurrence and tend to have worse disease-specific survival, according to a study published online Feb. 15 in Clinical Cancer Research.

Jessica H. Maxwell, M.D., of the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, and colleagues studied outcomes in 102 HPV-positive tumor patients, 68 percent of whom were tobacco users.

The researchers found that current tobacco users had a significantly increased risk of disease recurrence compared to never-tobacco users (hazard ratio, 5.2). They also found that the recurrence rate was significantly higher among ever-tobacco users than among never-tobacco users (35 versus 6 percent).

"Clinical trials are warranted to investigate whether targeting treatments with respect to tobacco history will improve survival and quality of life," the authors conclude. "Furthermore, it is yet to be determined whether reducing the intensity of treatment for some HPV-positive, nonsmoking, SCCOP patients will compromise prognosis."

Two authors reported financial relationships with Sequenom.

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Specialties Otolaryngology
Infectious Disease
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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