Results of a prospective trial on elective modified radical classical versus supraomohyoid neck dissection in the management of oral squamous carcinoma. Brazilian Head and Neck Cancer Study Group

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American Journal of Surgery 1998, 176 (5): 422-7

BACKGROUND: Elective treatment of the neck in oral squamous cell carcinoma has changed over the last 20 years. The main object of this report is to present the results of a multi-institutional prospective study designed to compare standard treatment with modified radical classical neck dissection (MRND) to supraomohyoid neck dissection (SOH) in the management of the clinically negative neck in oral cancer patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 148 patients were included in the trial. All patients had previously untreated T2 to T4 N0 squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue (62 cases), floor of the mouth (49 cases), inferior gingiva (12 cases), or retromolar trigone (25 cases). Tumor stages were T2, 91; T3, 27; and T4, 30. There were no significant imbalances between groups.

RESULTS: The false-negative rate was 28%, and most positive nodes were sited at level II and III. Complications were seen in 41% of MRND patients and in 25% of SOH patients (P = 0.043). Median total duration of hospitalization was 9 days in MRND patients and 7 days in the SOH group. To date, 19 and 16 patients presented with local and neck recurrences, respectively. The 60-month actuarial survival rates were 63% in the MRND group and 67% in the SOH group (P = 0.7150).

CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that the recurrence and survival rates were similar in both groups. SOH neck dissection can be recommended as standard elective treatment for patients with T2-T4 oral squamous cell carcinomas.

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