Background and purpose: Patients with locally advanced SCCHN have a poor prognosis. This study investigated the prognostic value of the tumor cell expression of the fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) in patients treated with surgery followed by radiotherapy. Patients and methods: The impact of FGF-2-expression and 11 additional potential prognostic factors on loco-regional control (LRC), metastases-free survival (MFS), and overall survival (OS) was retrospectively evaluated in 146 patients. Additional factors included age, gender, performance status, pre-radiotherapy hemoglobin levels, tumor site, histologic grade, T-category, N-category, human papilloma virus (HPV) status, extent of resection, and chemotherapy. Univariate analyses were performed with the Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test, multivariate analyses with the Cox proportional hazard model. Results: On multivariate analysis, improved LRC was significantly associated with FGF-2-negativity [risk ratio (RR): 7.33; 95 %-confidence interval (CI): 2.88-19.05; p < 0.001], lower T-category (RR: 2.42; 95 %-CI: 1.47-4.33; p < 0.001), lower N-category (RR: 12.36; 95 %-CI: 3.48-78.91; p < 0.001), and pre-radiotherapy hemoglobin levels ≥ 12 g/dl (RR: 4.18; 95 %-CI: 1.73-10.53; p = 0.002). No factor was significantly associated with improved MFS. Lower T-category showed a trend (RR: 1.59; 95 %-CI: 0.97-2.82; p = 0.069). Better OS was significantly associated with FGF-2-negativity (RR: 5.10; 2.22-11.80; p < 0.001), lower T-category (RR: 2.17; 95 %-CI: 1.38-3.68; p < 0.001), lower N-category (RR: 3.86; 95 %-CI: 1.60-10.85; p = 0.002), and pre-radiotherapy hemoglobin levels ≥ 12 g/dl (RR: 3.20; 95 %-CI: 1.46-7.30; p = 0.004). HPV-positivity showed a trend (RR: 2.36; 95 %-CI: n.a.; p = 0.054). Conclusions: Tumor cell expression of FGF-2 proved to be an independent prognostic factor for LRC and OS. This factor can help personalize treatment and stratify patients in future trials.
- Head-and-neck cancer
- Prognostic factors
- Treatment outcomes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging