Efficacy of neck dissection for locoregional failures versus isolated nodal failures in nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Head Neck. 2012 May;34(5):638-42. doi: 10.1002/hed.21781. Epub 2011 Jun 17.


Background: Neck dissection has been shown to be effective in controlling nodal failures in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Its efficacy in controlling the disease in patients with synchronous locoregional failure is, however, not documented.

Method: A retrospective review of all patients who underwent neck dissection for nodal failures with or without treated local failure within 6 months was conducted for this study. The survivals of these 2 groups of patients were analyzed.

Results: The 5-year overall survival of the whole cohort was 58%. There was no difference in 5-year disease specific survival (68% vs 40%; p = .121) and 5-year progression free survival (44% vs 36%; p = .334) when comparing patients with isolated nodal failures and synchronous locoregional failures. Multivariate analysis showed that only the initial N classification affects survival.

Conclusion: Neck dissection is efficacious in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma with nodal failure, with or without synchronous local failures.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brachytherapy
  • Carcinoma / mortality*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Carcinoma / therapy*
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Nasopharynx / surgery
  • Neck Dissection*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy