Author(s): Mendenhall WM, Million RR, Cassisi NJ, Mendenhall WM, Million RR, Cassisi NJ
Abstract Share this page
Abstract This is an analysis of 161 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with irradiation to the primary site and neck followed by a neck dissection(s) for clinically positive neck nodes. Patients were treated between October 1964 and December 1982; there was a minimum 2-year follow-up. Fifty-two patients were deleted from analysis of neck disease control because they died of intercurrent disease or cancer less than 2 years from treatment with the neck continuously disease-free. All patients are included in the analysis of complications. Neck disease control rate was the same for radiation plus neck dissection or radiation therapy alone for solitary nodes less than 3 cm. As the size and number of nodes increased, there was a higher rate of neck disease control for combined treatment as compared with irradiation alone. The neck disease control rate, size for size, was lower for patients with fixed nodes and for those with residual tumor in the pathologic specimen. There was no difference in neck disease control as a function of the interval between irradiation and neck dissection. For nodes less than or equal to 6 cm, a minimum node dose of 5000 rad appeared to be sufficient for control, whereas for nodes greater than 6 cm, at least 6000 rad appeared to be required for optimal control. Fixed nodes required a higher dose compared to mobile masses. The incidence of postoperative complications was increased with maximum subcutaneous doses of greater than or equal to 6000 rad. There was also an increased incidence of postoperative complications for patients undergoing simultaneous, as compared with staged, bilateral neck dissection.
This article was published in Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys
and referenced in Otolaryngology: Open Access