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18.06.2021 | original article Open Access

Potential association of the prognostic index and survival in patients with p16-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

Wiener klinische Wochenschrift
MD Faris F. Brkic, MD Christina Mayer, MD, PhD Gerold Besser, MD Gabriela Altorjai, MD Harald Herrmann, MD Gregor Heiduschka, MD, PhD Georg Haymerle, MD, PhD Lorenz Kadletz-Wanke
Wichtige Hinweise
The authors G. Haymerle and L. Kadletz-Wanke contributed equally to the manuscript.
The original online version of this article was revised: Due to an error in the affiliations as well as in the summary/results section.
A correction to this article is available online at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s00508-021-01913-z.

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The aim was to assess the prognostic value of the newly proposed prognostic index (PI) in patients with p16-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma.


Patients treated with primary surgery from 2012 to 2019 with available preoperative (0–2 days) values of C‑reactive protein and white blood cell counts needed for calculation of the PI, were included. Main outcome measures were overall survival (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS). The PI was dichotomized into low (PI = 0) and high (PI ≥ 1).


In this study 36 patients were included. Average overall (OS) and disease-free survival (DFS) were 3.3 years (range 0.2–12.3 years) and 2.8 years (0.0–9.8 years), respectively. The overall mortality was 16.7% (n = 6) and a recurrent disease was observed in 30.6% of patients (n = 11). Low PI was associated with better overall survival (mean OS 10.1 ± 1.4 years, 95% confidence interval, CI 7.3–12.9 years vs. 1.9 ± 0.4, 95% CI 1.3–2.6 years, p < 0.01; mean DFS 8.5 ± 0.7 years, 95% CI 7.1–9.6 years vs. 1.0 ± 0.3 years, 95% CI 0.5–1.5 years, p < 0.01).


The PI might be an easily obtainable outcome prognosticator in p16-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients. Analyzing routinely obtained blood samples can contribute to identifying high-risk patients.

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