1004P - Symptom prevalence and functional status among patients with advanced cancers of the head and neck

Date 29 September 2014
Event ESMO 2014
Session Poster Display session
Topics Cancer in Special Situations
Head and Neck Cancers
Presenter Takeshi Shinozaki
Citation Annals of Oncology (2014) 25 (suppl_4): iv340-iv356. 10.1093/annonc/mdu340
Authors T. Shinozaki1, M. Ebihara2, S. Iwase3, T. Yamaguchi4, H. Hirakawa5, W. Shimbashi6, T. Kamijo7, M. Okamoto8, T. Beppu9, J. Ohori10, K. Matsuura11, M. Suzuki12, H. Nishino13, Y. Sato14, K. Ariyoshi15, M. Matoba16
  • 1Department Of Head And Neck Surgery, National Cancer Center Hospital East, 2778577 - Kashiwa/JP
  • 2Otolaryngology, Ebihara E.N.T. Clinic, Chigasaki/JP
  • 3Department Of Palliative Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo/JP
  • 4Medical Statistics, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai/JP
  • 5Department Of Head And Neck Surgery, Aichi Cancer Center Hospital, Nagoya/JP
  • 6Divison Of Head And Neck, Cancer Institute Hospital, Tokyo/JP
  • 7Head And Neck Surgery, Shizuoka Cancer Center, Nagaizumi-cyo/JP
  • 8Department Of Otolaryngology, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara/JP
  • 9Department Of Head And Neck Surgery, Saitama Cancer Center, Saitama/JP
  • 10Depertment Of Otolaryngology, Head And Neck Surgery, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Kagoshima/JP
  • 11Division Of Head And Neck Surgery, Miyagi Cancer Center, Natori/JP
  • 12Department Of Otolaryngology, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Osaka/JP
  • 13Department Of Otolaryngology, Jichi Medical University, Shimotsuke/JP
  • 14Division Of Head And Neck Surgery, Niigata cancer center hospital, Niigata/JP
  • 15Division Of Biostatistics, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai/JP
  • 16Department Of Palliative Care, National Cancer Center, Tokyo/JP



There is no standard medical treatment or method of care for patients with advanced cancers of the head and neck. However, because the treatment received by terminally ill patients with head and neck cancers differ among institutions, evaluations and examinations are not being adequately performed. We aimed to clarify the symptoms in these patients contributing to changes in quality of life (QOL). In the future, we aim to reduce the suffering of these patients as far as possible by establishing a systematic method for care.


This multicenter, prospective, observational study included 100 patients with advanced head and neck cancers in 11 oncology units. We evaluated changes in global QOL (European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality-of-Life Questionnaire–Palliative 15), respiratory tract morphology, tumor site, bleeding, pulmonary metastasis, nutritional course, phonation ability, edema, and respiratory tract secretions.


of the 100 patients who met the entry criteria, 71 could be observed until death. Average survival from entry was 33.5 days (range, 0–167 days). Patients with worse performance status were shorter-lived. Questionnaires on QOL were answered by 48 of the 71 patients. There was no significant difference in global QOL between entry and 3 weeks later. 32 patients (45.1%) were breathing with a tracheostoma, and 15 patients needed a cuffed endotracheal tube. 26 patients (36.6%) needed a change of dressing because of bleeding or oozing, and 5 patients had severe bleeding. 17 patients (23.9%) had head and neck edema at entry, and 26 patients (36.6%) had edema at the time of death. 53 patients (74.6%) had received enteral nutrition.


With this prospective study we have clarified symptoms in terminally ill patients with head and neck cancers. On the basis of this study, we plan to establish a care system for terminally ill patients with head and neck cancers and prepare further prospective studies.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.