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Keywords:

  • oral tongue carcinoma;
  • Martinez-Gimeno score;
  • tumor thickness

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at evaluation of the different prognostic models, including stage, tumor thickness, shape, malignancy grading of tumor invasive front, Martinez-Gimeno score, and pathologic features in the prediction of subclinical nodal metastasis, local recurrence, and survival of early T1 and T2 oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma. The results will have important implication for the management of patients.

Patients and Methods

Seventy-two clinically T1 and T2 glossectomy specimens of oral tongue carcinoma were serially sectioned in 3-mm thickness for the evaluation of various pathologic features. The prognostic value in the prediction of subclinical nodal metastasis, local recurrence, and survival of different models were compared.

Results

Among all the tumor parameters and predictive models being evaluated, tumor thickness was the only significant factor that had significant predictive value for subclinical nodal metastasis, local recurrence, and survival. With the use of 3-mm and 9-mm division, tumor of up to 3-mm thickness has 8% subclinical nodal metastasis, 0% local recurrence, and 100% 5-year actuarial disease-free survival; tumor thickness of more than 3 mm and up to 9 mm had 44% subclinical nodal metastasis, 7% local recurrence, and 76% 5-year actuarial disease-free survival; tumor of more than 9 mm had 53% subclinical nodal metastasis, 24% local recurrence, and 66% 5-year actuarial disease-free survival.

Conclusions

Tumor thickness should be considered in the management planning of patients with early oral tongue carcinoma. © 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 24: 513–520, 2002