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Pediatric Nasopharyngeal CA Has Different Patient Demographic

Pediatric patients more often black and present with stage IV disease; have lower mortality

child with teddy bear and nurse

FRIDAY, Jan. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Pediatric patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) are more often black and present with stage IV disease, but they have lower mortality than adult patients, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Morgan K. Richards, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study involving all 17,317 patients with a primary diagnosis of NCP in the National Cancer Data Base from 1998 through 2011 (699 pediatric [age, ≤21 years] patients and 16,618 adults).

The researchers found that pediatric patients were most frequently black (43.6 percent), while adult patients were most often non-Hispanic white (60.0 percent; P < 0.001). Pediatric patients were less likely than adults to be Asian (5.7 versus 19.7 percent; P < 0.001). Compared with adult patients, pediatric patients were more likely to have regional nodal evaluation (35.3 versus 24.0 percent; P < 0.001) and to present with stage IV disease (58.4 versus 47.8 percent; P < 0.001). The mortality risk was lower for pediatric patients (hazard ratio, 0.37; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.25 to 0.56), with no difference in mortality by racial group among pediatric patients (hazard ratio, 1.10; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.82 to 1.40).

"Although uncommon, pediatric NPC appears to affect a different patient demographic relative to adult NPC," the authors write.

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