Oral maxillary squamous carcinoma: an indication for neck dissection in the clinically negative neck

Head Neck. 2011 Nov;33(11):1581-5. doi: 10.1002/hed.21631. Epub 2010 Dec 6.


Background: This multicenter study was undertaken to characterize the metastatic behavior of oral maxillary squamous carcinoma and to determine the role of selective neck dissection.

Methods: A retrospective, multicenter study of patients surgically treated for oral maxillary squamous carcinoma was completed. Data collected included primary tumor location, cervical lymph node status, and neck failure rate.

Results: The study included 146 patients. The adjusted regional metastatic rate was 31.4%. Of those N0 (clinically negative) necks treated with or without neck dissection, 14.4% developed cervical metastasis. Within the cohort, 7.5% of patients died with distant disease. The regional salvage rate was 52.9%. None of the patients with locoregional failures were salvaged.

Conclusions: Maxillary palatal, alveolar, and gingival squamous carcinomas exhibit aggressive regional metastatic behavior. Surgical salvage rates for neck failure are low; therefore, selective neck dissection (levels I-III) is recommended at the time of resection of T2, T3, and T4 maxillary squamous carcinomas.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / secondary
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lymph Node Excision / methods
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology*
  • Lymph Nodes / surgery*
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Male
  • Maxillary Neoplasms / mortality
  • Maxillary Neoplasms / pathology
  • Maxillary Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / mortality
  • Mouth Neoplasms / pathology
  • Mouth Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Neck Dissection / statistics & numerical data*
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome