Author(s): Carvalho AL, Magrin J, Kowalski LP
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the rates and the sites of tumour recurrence in patients with oral and oropharyngeal carcinomas. DESIGN: This is a retrospective study of a series of cases treated in a single institution. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A series of 2067 patients with oral and oropharyngeal squamous carcinoma, treated from 1954 to 1998 were analysed. The treatment approach was: surgery, 624 cases (30.2\%); radiotherapy alone, 729 cases (35.3\%); radiotherapy and surgery, 552 cases (26.7\%) and radiotherapy and chemotherapy, 162 cases (7.8\%). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Tumour recurrence was observed in 1079 patients (52.2\%): 561 cases of local recurrences (27.1\%); 168 neck recurrences (8.1\%); 252 locoregional recurrences (12.2\%); 59, distant metastasis (2.9\%) and 39 (1.9\%), combination of distant metastasis with local, neck or locoregional recurrence. RESULTS: The rates of recurrence varied significantly according to the treatment performed. Oral cavity cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy alone or in combination with chemotherapy presented the highest rates of neck recurrences (22.5 and 40.0\%, respectively) for clinical stage (CS) I/II and of local (41.2 and 30.1\%) and locoregional (21.7 and 31.1\%) recurrences for CS III/IV; yet, for CS III/IV, surgery without neck dissection was associated with the highest rates of neck recurrences (20.7\%), but no differences were observed in the rates of local or locoregional recurrences for CS I/II patients. For oropharynx cancer patients with CS I/II there was no difference in the rate of locoregional failures according to the treatment. However, patients with CS III/IV undergoing radiotherapy present a highest rate of local (42.3\%) and locoregional (28.8\%) failures. CONCLUSION: The results suggest that surgery should be the first option for initial clinical stage oral and oropharyngeal cancers. For advanced cases independently of the site of the tumour, surgery and postoperative radiotherapy should be the standard of care because it is associated with the lowest rates of locoregional recurrence.
This article was published in Oral Dis
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy