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Elective neck dissection for the management of the N0 neck in early cancer of the oral tongue: Need for a randomized controlled trial

Authors


  • The data in this study were presented at the 6th International Head and Neck Conference (AHNS) Washington DC 2004.

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

Ancillary