Contralateral lymph neck node metastasis of squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity: a retrospective analytic study in 315 patients.J Oral Maxillofac Surg 2008; 66(7):1390-8JO
In relation to primary squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity, many clinical and histopathologic factors have been reported to be predictive for lymph neck node relapse. However, few large studies concerning the association between clinical-histopathologic features and the development of contralateral lymph neck node relapse (CLNR) after surgical resection of primary SCC of the oral cavity are available. The purpose of this study was to analyze those factors related to the appearance of contralateral lymph neck node relapse in patients with SCC of the oral cavity primarily treated by means of surgery.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
This study was based on a series of 315 consecutive patients with primary SCC of the oral cavity treated between June 1979 and December 1999. All patients were treated primarily by means of surgery with or without adjuvant radiotherapy. The following data were analyzed for each patient: age, gender, habits, time to diagnosis, performance status, tumor clinical features, histologic grade, TNM staging, type of neck dissection, survival outcome, and functional/esthetic results at the end of the follow-up period. Histologic study included the pTNM classification, tumor size, surgical margins, extracapsular spread of lymph neck node metastasis, perineural infiltration, peritumoral inflammation, and bone involvement.
Eighty-three patients eventually died of the disease (26.34%). A total of 177 patients were alive with no evidence of recurrence at the end of the study. The mean disease-specific survival rate was 147 +/- 6 months. Twenty-nine (9.1%) patients developed ipsilateral lymph neck node relapse (ILNR), whereas 18 (5.69%) patients developed CLNR. The mean period of time from surgery to the appearance of CLNR was 12.52 months (range, 3 to 49 months). Eighteen of 29 patients with ILNR finally died of the disease. Seven of 18 patients with CLNR died of the disease. Several clinical-pathologic features were predictive for CLNR in SCC of the oral cavity, such as the time to diagnosis, TNM staging, positive ipsilateral clinical N status, histopathologic differentiation, surgical margins of primary tumor resection, type of neck dissection, and perineural infiltration.
Delay in diagnosis 12 or more months is associated with increased CLNR. Clinical and pathologic factors predictive for CLNR are TNM tumor staging IV, histopathologic poor-differentiation of the primary tumor, surgical margins less than 1 cm around the primary tumor, performance of isolated ipsilateral modified type III radical neck dissection, and perineural tumor involvement. Presence of ipsilateral neck metastasis at the time of diagnosis is associated with an augmented incidence of CLNR in SCC of the oral cavity.