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Never-smokers fare far better than smokers after radiation therapy for head and neck cancer
Date:11/16/2010

gnoses who reported they had never smoked. Patients who continued to smoke during treatment were not included in the study. Subjects were evenly matched based on age, gender, ethnicity, primary tumor site, disease stage and treatment history.

The analysis found that 14 of the 70 never-smokers experienced a recurrence of their disease compared to 26 patients who had a history of smoking. In addition, 82 percent of never-smokers were disease-free after three years compared to 65 percent of patients who had smoked. Also, those who had never smoked had a lower incidence of complications related to treatment than those who had smoked.

Chen said the next step in the research is to identify biological or genetic differences among smokers and never-smokers diagnosed with head and neck cancers and treated with radiation therapy that might account for the differences in prognosis.

"We are in the process of conducting several laboratory experiments designed to better understand why cancers arising from never smokers are so exquisitely radiosensitive," Chen said.


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Contact: Dorsey Griffith
dorsey.griffith@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9118
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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