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Sentinel node biopsy as an alternative to elective neck dissection for staging of early oral carcinoma

Authors

  • Sandeep Samant MS, FRCS

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, Tennessee
    • Division of Head and Neck and Skull Base Surgery, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 910 Madison Ave, Suite 430, Memphis, TN 38163. E-mail: ssamant@uthsc.edu

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  • This work was presented at the 8th International Congress on Head and Neck Cancer, Toronto, Canada, July 2012.

Abstract

Background

We report the outcome of sentinel node biopsy (SNB) for staging the neck in a consecutive cohort of 34 patients with T1/2 clinically N0 oral carcinoma.

Methods

SNB was performed along with resection of primary tumor. Neck dissection was reserved for failure of SNB or pathologically positive sentinel nodes (pN+).

Results

Sentinel node identification was successful in 32 of 34 patients (94%); 2 patients with unsuccessful SNB underwent immediate neck dissection. Seven patients (21%) were pN+, 6 by SNB and 1 by elective neck dissection (END). Among 29 patients who were pN0 on SNB, nodal recurrence developed in 2 patients; both were surgically salvaged. Local failure developed in 1 patient. Two-year overall and disease-free survival was 87% and 80%, respectively.

Conclusion

Successful eradication of lymphatic metastasis noted in this study suggests that SNB may be a safe alternative to END for neck staging in patients with early oral carcinoma. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 36: 241–246, 2014

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