Pathology reporting in head and neck cancer—Snapshot of current status
Article first published online: 15 DEC 2008
Copyright © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Head & Neck
Volume 31, Issue 2, pages 227–231, February 2009
How to Cite
King, B. and Corry, J. (2009), Pathology reporting in head and neck cancer—Snapshot of current status. Head Neck, 31: 227–231. doi: 10.1002/hed.20957
- Issue published online: 12 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 15 DEC 2008
- Manuscript Accepted: 11 JUL 2008
- head and neck cancer;
- postoperative radiotherapy;
- pathology reporting
Currently there is no standardized head and neck pathology reporting system in Victoria, Australia. The aim of this study was to document deficiencies in head and neck pathology reports at our institution.
The pathology reports of all patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) who presented to Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre for postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) between January 1, 2004, and March 31, 2006, were critically assessed for 16 key pathological items.
Only 37% reports contained all the 16 items. The most commonly missing items were “diameter of the largest involved lymph node” (38%), “presence/absence of lymphovascular space invasion” (30%), “presence/absence of peri-neural invasion” (28%), “clearance of margins in millimeters” (27%), and “presence/absence of extracapsular extension” (27%). The most variable item was the clearance in millimeters used to determine “clear margins”.
Several of the most important pathological factors predicting locoregional relapse in HNSCC are currently the least reliably reported items in head and neck pathology reports. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2009