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March 1987

Blood Transfusion and Outcome in Stage III Head and Neck Carcinoma

Author Affiliations
From the Departments of Otolaryngology (Drs Johnson and Ms Thearle) and Community Medicine (Dr Taylor), University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(3):307-310. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860030083014

• Treatment outcome was correlated retrospectively with blood transfusions received in 179 surgical patients with stage III squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Seventy-three percent of patients requiring no blood transfusion survived three years with no evidence of disease (NED). By comparison, patients receiving 3 or 4 U of transfused blood experienced a 47% three-year NED survival. Patients receiving 5 U or more of blood perioperatively experienced a 40% two-year NED survival. Seventy patients underwent surgery and postoperative radiation therapy. Life-table analysis demonstrated statistically significant differences in survival for patients who received 2 U or fewer of blood when compared with patients who received more than 2 U. These differences were not present in patients having surgery subsequent to previous radiation therapy or surgery alone. Blood transfusion may be detrimental to the management of patients with malignant neoplasms. The mechanisms through which blood transfusion affects malignant neoplasm is unknown.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1987;113:307-310)