Prognostic score predicts survival in HPV-negative head and neck squamous cell cancer patients

Xu Qian, Duc T. Nguyen, Yue Dong, Branko Sinikovic, Andreas M. Kaufmann, Jeffrey N. Myers, Andreas E. Albers, Edward A. Graviss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Although patients having head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) have high mortality, standardized prognostic tools are unavailable. As such, having a validated simple prognostic scoring system to help predict mortality in these high-risk patients is urgently needed. The current study aimed to develop and internally validate a prognostic scoring system for overall mortality in human papillomavirus (HPV)-independent HNSCC patients. Data on 400 consecutive patients from the Cancer Genome Atlas database with a known HPV-RNA negative status were analyzed. A prognostic model to predict patient overall mortality was developed using the logistic regression beta coefficients and a simple risk score was created. The model was internally validated using bootstrap validation with 2000 replications. Five covariates (age, pT, pN, perineural invasion, and EAp53 score) were used in the development of the mortality risk score in the final model. Three risk groups were stratified based on the prognostic scores: low-risk (<96 points), medium-risk (96–121 points), and high-risk (≥122 points) with a survival of 76%, 62% and 35%, respectively. The proposed model presented good discrimination in both the development (AUC = 0.76; 95% CI 0.70, 0.81) and bootstrap validation (AUC = 0.76; 95% CI 0.70, 0.81) with a non-significant Hosmer-Lemeshow chi-square of 6.17 (p = 0.63). The proposed prognostic scoring system is easy to use to predict patient overall mortality and could also help in the appropriate allocation of medical resources while managing HNSCC patients. External validation (including re-calibration if needed) should be conducted to test the model’s generalizability in different populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1344
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - May 12 2019


  • EAp53
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Next generation sequencing
  • Predictive model
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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