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Lymphoepithelial carcinoma of the head and neck: a SEER analysis of prognostic factors for survival

Jing Wei, Hui Deng, Lihua Wu, Jianbo Song, Junping Zhang, Wenhui Yang, Mengxian Zhang, Hongtao Zhen

Abstract: Objective: To explore the epidemiological characteristics of patients with lymphoepithelial carcinoma (LEC) of the head and neck and the prognostic factors. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of cases of head and neck LEC retrieved from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results database. Kaplan–Meier survival analysis and the log-rank test were employed to assess overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS). Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to construct Cox regression models. We established nomograms to predict OS and CSS among patients with nasopharyngeal LEC, who were divided into high- and low-risk groups based on the OS nomograms to compare the effects of treatment using the restricted mean survival time (RMST). Results: The 5-year OS and CSS rates of the cohort were 70.8% and 74.8%, respectively. Advanced age, unmarried status, black race, distant metastasis, and the absence of surgical treatment were significantly associated with decreased survival rates. RMST did not differ between the combined treatment (radiotherapy and chemotherapy) and radiotherapy monotherapy groups, but chemotherapy alone displayed poor efficacy. Conclusions: Head and neck LEC is associated with a favorable prognosis. Radiotherapy plays a significant role in managing patients with nasopharyngeal LEC, which is influenced by multiple prognostic factors.
Keywords: survival / treatment / head and neck LEC / radiotherapy / prognostic / nomograms / chemotherapy / lymphoepithelial

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