The role of postoperative radiotherapy in pN1 oral cavity cancer without extranodal extension

Tsung You Tsai, Yenlin Huang, Andrea Iandelli, Shiao Fwu Tai, Shao Yu Hung, Huang Kai Kao, Kai Ping Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: The administration of postoperative radiotherapy remains controversial in pN1 oral cavity cancer patients without extranodal extension. The aim is to determine whether postoperative radiotherapy reduces the neck recurrence rate and improves the survival outcomes of pN1 patients. Methods: This study consecutively enrolled 1056 patients with newly diagnosed oral squamous cell carcinoma who underwent tumor wide excision and neck dissection from September 2002 to November 2019. One hundred two pN1 patients without extranodal extension were eligible for analysis. Then, a subgroup analysis of 40 patients was performed after patients with other adverse risk factors (positive margins, close margins, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, tumor depth ≥ 10 mm, and poor histological differentiation) were excluded. Results: Of the 102 eligible pN1 patients, 26 patients received surgery alone, and 76 received postoperative radiotherapy. No significant differences were observed in the neck recurrence rate (7.7% vs. 15.8%, p = 0.30). Similarly, in patients without other adverse risk factors, no significant differences were observed in the neck recurrence rate (5% vs. 20%, p = 0.15) between surgery alone group and postoperative radiotherapy group. Moreover, no significant difference was found in the neck recurrence-free survival rate, overall survival, and disease-specific survival (77.1% vs. 52.5%, p = 0.42, 83.5% vs. 64.5%, p = 0.81, and 88.2% vs. 67.9%, p = 0.34, respectively). Conclusion: Postoperative radiotherapy did not significantly decrease the probability of neck recurrence and survival outcomes in pN1 patients without extranodal extension. Radical surgery alone may be considered sufficient treatment for pN1 patients without other adverse risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number279
JournalWorld Journal of Surgical Oncology
Volume19
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).

Keywords

  • Extranodal extension
  • N1
  • Oral cancer
  • Radiotherapy

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