Cases of squamous cell carcinoma (171) of the oropharynx and laryngopharynx with clinically positive neck nodes, treated primarily by radiotherapy, were used for a multivariate analysis of the factors related to the regional outcome. All patients were staged according to the UICC-TNM (1982) classification. Lymph node size (P < 0.01), TNM nodal category (P < 0.05), and stage of the disease (P < 0.05) were significant in univariate analysis. Patient- and disease-related factors (age, sex, and histology) and treatment related factors (radiation dose (5000–6000 rads), radiation schedule, and concurrent chemotherapy) did not reach statistical significance. The stepwise logistic regression resulted in a final model with node size as the most important predictor of neck node control (P < 0.01). Patients with neck nodes up to 1 cm can receive radical radiotherapeutic management for treating the primary as well as nodal disease.