SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • tongue cancer;
  • elective neck dissection;
  • N0 neck;
  • oral cancer

Abstract

Background

The aim of this study is to determine the need for a randomized controlled trial in order to define the role of an elective neck dissection (END) in the treatment of early tongue cancers.

Methods

We present a large retrospective analysis of patients with T1-2 N0 squamous cell cancers of the oral anterior tongue treated at a single institution. A total of 359 eligible patients with early tongue cancers were divided into 2 groups: END and wait and watch (WW). An analysis for survival outcomes and prognostic factors was conducted.

Results

The estimated 3- and 5-year disease-free survival for the END group was 76% and 74% versus 71% and 68% for the WW group, respectively (p = .53). The 3- and 5-year overall survival (OS) rate for the END group was 69% and 60% versus 62% and 60% for the WW group, respectively (p = .24). Tumor grade and perineural invasion were independent predictors of recurrence.

Conclusion

END did not impact disease-free or OS. Current literature still remains divided on this issue emphasizing the need for a randomized controlled trial. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 2009