The standard treatment for early-stage oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) is definitive surgery. A randomized clinical trial1 of ipsilateral elective vs therapeutic node dissection in cT1-2 patients with OCSCC demonstrated superior survival in the elective dissection group. Another recent analysis2 linked higher lymph node count to improved survival in all patients with head and neck cancer with heterogeneous clinical nodal presentations. However, the need for extensive neck dissection in cN0 patients with OCSCC remains unclear. We therefore evaluated the survival impact of lymph node count in these patients using the National Cancer Database (NCDB).
Tsai CJ, Zheng J, Zhang Z, Riaz N, Baxi SS, Wong RJ, Lee NY. Association of Number of Dissected Lymph Nodes With Survival in Clinically Node-Negative Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients Undergoing Primary SurgeryA Population-Based Analysis. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2017;143(10):1049–1052. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2017.0947
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