Factors associated with complex oral treatment device usage in patients with head and neck cancer

Stephen Palasi, Ning Zhang, Mikaela Bankston, Joy Godby, Hannah Burrows, Jennifer Lagunas, William Perkison, Brandon Gunn, Mark S. Chambers, David I. Rosenthal, William Morrison, Adam Garden, Clifton David Fuller, Sharon Giordano, Eugene J. Koay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The objective was to identify clinical and epidemiological factors associated with utilization of a complex oral treatment device (COTD), which may decrease toxicity in patients undergoing radiation therapy for head and neck cancer (HNC). Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed data from 1992 to 2013 in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER)-Medicare databases to analyze COTD usage during intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for patients diagnosed with cancer of the tongue, floor of mouth, nasopharynx, tonsil, or oropharynx. Patients with a radiation simulation and complex treatment device code within 4 weeks before the first IMRT claim were identified as meeting COTD usage criteria. Demographic, regional, tumor, and treatment data were analyzed. Results: Out of 4511 patients who met eligibility criteria, 1932 patients (42.8%) did not utilize a COTD while 2579 (57.2%) met usage criteria. COTD utilization increased over time (36.36% usage in 1992 vs. 67.44% usage in 2013, p < .0001). Patients less likely to receive a COTD included those aged 86 years or older compared to those aged 66–70 (OR = 0.713, 95% CI: 0.528–0.962), male patients (OR = 0.817, 95% CI: 0.710–0.941), non-Hispanic Black patients compared to non-Hispanic White patients (OR = 0.750, 95% CI: 0.582–0.966), and Louisiana residents (OR = 0.367, 95% CI: 0.279–0.483). Cancer site, grade, stage, or function of IMRT had no significant association with COTD usage. Conclusions: This study serves as the first known SEER-Medicare review of COTD utilization. Despite an increase in COTD usage over time, our results indicate age, gender, and geographic disparities are associated with utilization. Further research and development into methods that increase availability of COTDs may help increase utilization in specific patient populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-83
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Translational Radiation Oncology
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Head and neck cancer
  • Oral mucositis
  • Radiation
  • SEER-Medicare
  • Stent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Factors associated with complex oral treatment device usage in patients with head and neck cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this