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Cancer. 2012 Dec 1;118(23):5783-92. doi: 10.1002/cncr.27609. Epub 2012 May 8.

Head and neck carcinoma in the United States: first comprehensive report of the Longitudinal Oncology Registry of Head and Neck Carcinoma (LORHAN).

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.



Detailed information about how patients with head and neck carcinoma (HNC) are treated across practice settings does not exist. The authors conducted a prospective, observational study to examine the patterns of care for a series of patients with newly diagnosed HNC in the United States and to test 2 hypotheses: 1) There is no difference in the pattern of care between community and academic settings; and 2) the results of major randomized clinical trials will change the pattern of care in both practice settings within 1 year of publication in peer-reviewed journals.


Patients aged ≥ 18 years were enrolled in the Longitudinal Oncology Registry of Head and Neck Carcinoma (LORHAN) after providing written informed consent if they had a confirmed diagnosis of new HNC and were scheduled to receive treatment other than surgery alone.


Between 2005 and 2010, 100 centers enrolled 4243 patients, including 2612 patients (62%) from academic investigators and 1631 patients (38%) from community centers. Initial treatments were radiation with concurrent chemotherapy (30%) or cetuximab (9%), adjuvant radiotherapy (21%), induction chemotherapy (16%), and other (24%). Intensity modulated radiation therapy was the dominant radiation technique (84%). Single-agent cisplatin was prescribed in nearly half of patients and more often in academic centers (53% vs 43% of patients; P < .0001). Single-agent cetuximab was the next most common drug used (19%) and was prescribed more frequently in community settings (24% vs 17%; P = .0001). The data rejected the 2 prospective hypotheses.


LORHAN documented differences in patient characteristics and treatments between community and academic settings for a large series of patients in the United States.

Copyright © 2012 American Cancer Society.

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