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November 1983

Patterns of Cancer Recurrence in the Postoperatively Irradiated Neck

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Radiology (Dr Mantravadi and Mr Haas) and Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery (Drs Skolnik and Applebaum), University of Illinois Hospital and Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(11):753-756. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800250047011

• Data from 92 patients with stage III or IV squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with surgery and planned postoperative radiotherapy were analyzed to determine the incidence and patterns of tumor recurrence. Overall, recurrent tumor in the cervical region developed in 19 patients (21%). Of these, eight were in the neck alone and 11 in both the neck and the primary site. All recurrences were in the ipsilateral cervical region and none in the contralateral neck. The presence of two or more metastatic nodes at the time of surgery correlated with tumor recurrence and decreased survival. Extracapsular tumor spread increased the recurrence rate. Our data suggest that postoperative radiotherapy decreases ipsilateral cervical tumor recurrence in only those patients with more than two metastatic lymph nodes, and contralateral neck recurrence in all patients.

(Arch Otolaryngol 1983;109:753-756)

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