The prognostic significance of race in nasopharyngeal carcinoma by histological subtype

Katelyn O. Stepan, Angela L. Mazul, S. Andrew Skillington, Randal C. Paniello, Jason T. Rich, Jose P. Zevallos, Ryan S. Jackson, Patrik Pipkorn, Sean Massa, Sidharth V. Puram*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Race has been shown to have variable prognostic importance in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). However, previous studies are limited by a lack of comprehensive treatment, epidemiologic, and comorbidity data. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study utilizing the National Cancer Database from 2004 to 2016. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regressions were used to calculate adjusted hazard ratios (aHR) for overall survival. Results: A cohort of 9995 patients met inclusion and exclusion criteria. Race, insurance, comorbidity, treatment, stage, age, and histology were independent prognosticators. Among patients with keratinizing NPC, Asians and Hispanics had superior survival (aHR 0.58 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.48–0.69], aHR 0.76 [95% CI 0.61–0.96]) compared to white patients. Among patients with non-keratinizing differentiated NPC, Asians and black patients had improved survival (aHR 0.71 [95% CI 0.56–0.91], aHR 0.72 [95% CI 0.54–0.95]) compared to white patients. Race was not prognostic in non-keratinizing undifferentiated NPC. Conclusion: The prognostic significance of race varies across histological subtypes of NPC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHead and Neck
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • prognosis
  • race
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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