Purpose: Although clinicians encounter patients aged ≥70 years with locally advanced oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (LA-OCSCC), no evidence is available to facilitate decision making regarding treatment for this elderly population. Methods: We selected elderly (≥70 years) patients from the Taiwan Cancer Registry database who had received a diagnosis of LA-OCSCC. Propensity score matching was performed. Cox proportional hazards model curves were used to analyze all-cause mortality in patients in different age groups receiving different treatments. Results: The matching process yielded a final cohort of 976 patients in concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT), non-treatment, radiotherapy (RT) alone, and surgery cohorts who were eligible for further analysis. After stratified analysis, the adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) derived for surgery, RT alone, and non-treatment compared with CCRT were 0.66 (0.52 to 0.83), 1.02 (0.81 to 1.28), and 1.52 (1.21 to 1.91), respectively, in patients aged 70 to 80 years. In the oldest patients (aged >80 years), multivariate analysis indicated that the results of surgery or RT alone were nonsignificant compared with those of CCRT. The aHR (95% CI) derived for the highest mortality was 1.81 (1.11 to 2.40) for non-treatment compared with CCRT. Conclusions: Surgery for elderly patients with LA-OCSCC is associated with a significant survival benefit, but the association is nonsignificant in the oldest elderly patients. No survival differences were observed between RT alone and CCRT in these elderly patients. Non-treatment should not be an option for these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number258
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Locally advanced
  • Mortality
  • Old
  • Oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma
  • Treatments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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