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Research Abstracts Online
January 2009 - March 2010

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Medical School
Department of Otolaryngology

PI: Amy Anne Lassig

The Effect of Treating Institution on Outcomes in Head and Neck Cancer

Head and neck cancer is a devastating disease with profound impact on quality of life. In recent years, treatment for many subsites has shifted to organ preservation therapy. As these protocols have become more established, patients who were previously treated at academic centers are now often treated in the community. The primary aim of this study is to assess the effect of type of treating institution on outcomes in head and neck cancer. Such outcomes data will allow providers to better treat a diverse population of patients, resulting in better quantity and quality of life.

The University of Minnesota is a tertiary urban, academic center drawing patients from several states; approximately one half of patients who require chemoradiation obtain these services close to home. Thus, University patients may have received therapy from either academic or community centers. Using a mixed cohort of patients treated at both academic and community centers, retrospective and prospective data collection will be used to determine the impact of institution type on successful completion of head and neck chemoradiation, on disease recurrence and survival, and on quality of life. The data includes patients at the University hospital during 2003–2008, assessing treatment completion and disease control parameters. Clinical and health data, treatment completion variables, and disease control parameters will be collected via the medical record. Outcomes will be assessed via a prospectively collected self-administered and clinician administered validated health questionnaires. Depression, alcohol abuse, feeding tube, disability, BMI, tobacco use, and tracheostomy status will be evaluated. The hypothesis is that patients treated at academic centers will be more likely to successfully complete chemoradiation, have better locoregional control and survival, and have better quality of life scores due to more specialized treatment and support. 

Group Member

Wenjun Kang, Graduate Student