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Apparent diffusion coefficient is a prognostic factor of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma treated with radiotherapy.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the correlation between apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) and prognosis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) treated with radiotherapy.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively studied 41 patients (38 male and 3 female, ages 37-85 years) diagnosed with HNSCC (14 oropharynx, 22 hypopharynx, 4 larynx, 1 oral cavity) and treated with radiotherapy, with radiation dose to gross tumor volume over 60 Gy. The association between age, gender, performance status, tumor location, T stage, N stage, stage, dose, overall treatment time, treatment method, adjuvant therapy, or ADC and prognosis was analyzed using a Cox proportional hazard test.

RESULTS: ADC calculated with b-values of 300, 500, 750, and 1,000 s/mm(2) (ADC 300-1,000) alone showed a significant correlation with all of the analyses (p = 0.022 for local control, p = 0.0109 for regional control, p = 0.0041 for disease-free survival, and p = 0.0014 for overall survival). ADC calculated with b-values of 0, 100, and 200 s/mm(2) (ADC 0-200) showed a significant correlation with overall survival (p = 0.0012). N stage showed a significant correlation with regional control (p = 0.0241). Performance status showed significant association with local control (p = 0.0459), disease-free survival (p = 0.023), and overall survival (p = 0.0151), respectively.

CONCLUSION: ADC is an independent predictor of prognosis in HNSCC treated with radiotherapy.

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