Association between nutritional risk index and outcomes for head and neck cancer patients receiving concurrent chemo-radiotherapy

Head and Neck Cancer

Oh J, et al. Head Neck 2020.


BACKGROUND: Patients receiving chemoradiotherapy for head and neck cancer (HNC) are often malnourished. We assessed the utility of nutritional risk index (NRI) in HNC patients undergoing chemoradiotherapy.

METHODS: A population-based retrospective review of HNC patients treated with curative chemoradiation was performed. Demographics, anthropometrics, overall survival (OS), and the composite treatment complication rate (G-tube dependence, radiation incompletion, 90-day mortality, and unplanned hospitalization) were collected.

RESULTS: Two hundred ninety-two patients were identified. Average pretreatment and posttreatment NRI were 110 (SD 3) and 99 (SD 12), respectively (P < .01). Pretreatment NRI risk category, age, ECOG status, and tumor subsites were associated with OS on multivariate analysis. Pretreatment NRI risk category was associated with risk of treatment related complications.

CONCLUSIONS: There was a significant decrease between pretreatment and posttreatment NRI in HNC patients receiving chemoradiation. Pretreatment NRI risk category may predict OS and composite treatment complications. Investigation of NRI as a prognostic factor is warranted.