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September 1993

Supraomohyoid Neck Dissection in the Treatment of Head and Neck Tumors: Survival Results in 212 Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Head and Neck Surgery Department, A. C. Camargo Hospital, Antonio Prudente Foundation (Drs Kowalski, Magrin, Waksman, Santo, Lopes, and de Paula); and the Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, Ludwig Institute on Cancer Research (Drs Pereira and Torloni), São Paulo, Brazil.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119(9):958-963. doi:10.1001/archotol.1993.01880210046007

Elective supraomohyoid neck dissection is considered part of standard treatment of oral and oropharyngeal cancer in most institutions, but its role in the treatment of clinically positive neck cancer remains a subject of controversy. The main object of this study is to report the results of 212 consecutive patients who underwent supraomohyoid neck dissections from 1954 to 1990. Most patients had squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity. Eighty-six patients (40.6%) had histologically positive lymph nodes in the surgical specimen (sensitivity, 0.55; specificity, 0.53). At the study closing date there were 58.8% actuarial 10-year overall survival rates. Forty-five patients (21.2%) had 50 tumor recurrences (32 local, 13 regional, five distant), and in 40 patients (18.8%) a second primary tumor was diagnosed. A multivariate regression technique based on Cox's proportional hazards model was used, and age (65 years or younger vs older than 65 years) represented the variable with the highest predictive strength with respect to overall survival (relative risk, 2.3). Tumor site, sex, and histologically proved metastasis were also associated with overall survival rates. The same variables were also related to the risk of recurrence. In conclusion, the death rate is mainly related to the control of the primary site tumor and the occurrence of a second primary tumor rather than to neck recurrences. It confirms that supraomohyoid neck dissection is an adequate elective procedure and possibly sufficient in the treatment of a selected group of patients with lip cancer with positive nodes at level 1.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1993;119:958-963)

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