Population-Based Prognostic Models for Head and Neck Cancers Using National Cancer Registry Data from Taiwan

Tzu-Pin Lu
Jun, 2024
Purpose: This study aims to raise awareness of the disparities in survival predictions among races in head and neck cancer (HNC) patients by developing and validating population-based prognostic models specifically tailored for Taiwanese and Asian populations. Methods: A total of 49,137 patients diagnosed with HNCs were included from the Taiwan Cancer Registry (TCR). Six prognostic models, divided into three categories based on surgical status, were developed to predict both overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival using the registered demographic and clinicopathological characteristics in the Cox proportional hazards model. The prognostic models underwent internal evaluation through a tenfold cross-validation among the TCR Taiwanese datasets and external validation across three primary racial populations using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database. Predictive performance was assessed using discrimination analysis employing Harrell's c-index and calibration analysis with proportion tests. Results: The TCR training and testing datasets demonstrated stable and favorable predictive performance, with all Harrell's c-index values ≥ 0.7 and almost all differences in proportion between the predicted and observed mortality being < 5%. In external validation, Asians exhibited the best performance compared with white and black populations, particularly in predicting OS, with all Harrell's c-index values > 0.7. Conclusions: Survival predictive disparities exist among different racial groups in HNCs. We have developed population-based prognostic models for Asians that can enhance clinical practice and treatment plans.