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Keywords:

  • Head and neck cancer;
  • N3;
  • chemoradiation;
  • chemotherapy;
  • distant metastases

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the outcomes of patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with N3 neck nodes treated with definitive chemoradiation.

Study Design: Retrospective review.

Methods: Thirty-two patients with nonmetastatic locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and N3 neck disease treated with concurrent chemoradiation therapy were evaluated. Overall survival, disease- free survival, locoregional control, and distant control were recorded.

Results: Median follow-up for surviving patients was 25 (range, 3–93) months. Seventeen of 32 (53%) patients failed, 13 in distant sites only, 2 in the neck only, 1 in the neck and a distant site, and 1 in the neck and primary site. The absolute rates of locoregional control and distant control were 88% and 56%, respectively. Actuarial overall survival and disease-free survival at 2 years were 51% and 29%, respectively.

Conclusion: Patients with N3 neck disease treated with chemoradiation experience a very high rate of distant failure. Future studies investigating the role of additional systemic therapy in these patients are warranted.