Purpose: In the American Joint Committee on Cancer 2010 classification system, pT1-2N0 oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is considered an early-stage cancer treatable with surgery alone (National Comprehensive Cancer Network 2010 guidelines). Our aim was to evaluate the feasibility of surgery alone for pT1-2N0 OSCC patients. Methods and Materials: Among 1279 previously untreated OSCC patients referred to our hospital between January 1996 and May 2008, we identified 457 consecutive patients with pT1-2N0 disease. All had radical tumor excision with neck dissection. A total of 387 patients showing pathologic margins greater than 4 mm and treated by surgery alone were included in the final analysis. All were followed up for at least 24 months after surgery or until death. The 5-year rates of control, distant metastasis, and survival were the main outcome measures. Results: The 5-year rates in the entire group of pT1-2N0 patients were as follows: local control, 91%; neck control, 92%; distant metastases, 1%; disease-free survival, 85%; disease-specific survival, 93%; and overall survival, 84%. Multivariate analysis identified poor differentiation and pathologic tumor depth of 4 mm or greater as independent risk factors for neck control, disease-free survival, and disease-specific survival. A scoring system using poor differentiation and tumor depth was formulated to define distinct prognostic groups. The presence of both poorly differentiated tumors and a tumor depth of 4 mm or greater resulted in significantly poorer 5-year neck control (p < 0.0001), disease-free (p < 0.0001), disease-specific (p < 0.0001), and overall survival (p = 0.0046) rates. Conclusion: The combination of poor differentiation and pathologic tumor depth of 4 mm or greater identified a subset of pT1-2N0 OSCC patients with poor outcome, who may have clinical benefit from postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. Printed in the USA. All rights reserved.
Liao, C. T., Lin, C. Y., Fan, K. H., Wang, H. M., Ng, S. H., Lee, L. Y., … Yen, T. C. (2012). Identification of a high-risk group among patients with oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma and pT1-2N0 disease. International Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics, 82(1), 284–290. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.09.036