Improved survival prediction for oropharyngeal cancer beyond TNMv8

J. M. Price, C. M. West, H. B. Mistry, G. Betts, P. Bishop, J. Kennedy, L. Dixon, J. J. Homer, K. P. Garcez, L. W. Lee, A. McPartlin, A. J. Sykes, D. J. Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: For oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) this study aimed to: (i) compare 5-year overall survival (OS) stratification by AJCC/UICC TNM versions 7 (TNMv7) and 8 (TNMv8), (ii) determine whether changes to T and N stage groupings improve prognostication and (iii) develop and validate a model incorporating additional clinical characteristics to improve 5-year OS prediction. Material and Methods: All OPSCC treated with curative-intent at our institution between 2011 and 2017 were included. The primary endpoint was 5-year OS. Survival curves were produced for TNMv7 and TNMv8. A three-way interaction between T, N stage and p16 status was evaluated for improved prognostication. Cox proportional hazards modelling was used to derive a new predictive model. Results: Of 750 OPSCC cases, 574 (77%) were p16-positive. TNMv8 was more prognostic than TNMv7 (concordance probability estimate [CPE] ± SE = 0.72 ± 0.02 vs 0.53 ± 0.02). For p16-positive disease, TNMv8 discriminated stages II vs I (HR 2.32, 95% CI 1.47–3.67) and III vs II (HR 1.75, 95% CI 1.13–2.72). For p16-negative disease, TNMv7 and TNMv8 demonstrated poor hazard discrimination. Different T, N stage and p16-status combinations did not improve prognostication after adjusting for other factors (CPE = 0.79 vs 0.79, p = 0.998). A model for p16-positive and p16-negative OPSCC including additional clinical characteristics improved 5-year OS prediction beyond TNMv8 (c-index 0.76 ± 0.02). Conclusions: TNMv8 is superior to TNMv7 for p16-positive OPSCC, but both performed poorly for p16-negative disease. A novel model incorporating additional clinical characteristics improved 5-year OS prediction for both p16-positive and p16-negative disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105140
JournalOral Oncology
Early online date3 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021


  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Nomogram
  • Oropharyngeal cancer
  • Overall survival
  • P16
  • Prognostic
  • Staging
  • Survival prediction
  • TNM


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