Treatment results of regional metastasis from cutaneous head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

J. A. D. Jol, M. L. F. van Velthuysen, F. J. M. Hilgers, R. B. Keus, H. Neering, A. J. M. Balm

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AIMS: To investigate the results of our treatment policy, we present our institutional experience in the management of regional neck node metastases of cutaneous head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (CHNSCC). METHODS: Between 1977 and 1997, 343 patients presented with CHNSCC, of whom 41 were treated for regional metastases, with parotidectomy and/or (selective) neck dissection. Histological analysis was performed on all operation specimens. Patients with multiple nodes and/or extra capsular rupture, at risk for recurrence, received adjuvant radiotherapy. RESULTS: Seventy-six percent of the regional metastases occurred within the first 2 years, but a delay of more than 5 years was also observed. Parotid gland (56%), neck levels II (39%) and V (22%) were most frequently involved. Twenty-four percent of patients treated with curative intent failed at the regional site. Five years overall survival was 46%, with a median survival of 49 months. No survival differences emerged between patients treated by surgery alone and patients receiving adjuvant radiotherapy (P=0.14). Five patients died of disease, of whom three with distant metastases. CONCLUSION: Regionally metastasized CHNSCC is a serious disease with a high risk of regional recurrence, calling for combined surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy. A small subset of patients with a long interval between completion of primary treatment and presence of regional nodes justifies a long follow-up
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-86
JournalEuropean journal of surgical oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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