Survival outcomes after treatment of cancer of the oral cavity (1985-2015)

Oral Oncol. 2019 Mar:90:115-121. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2019.02.001. Epub 2019 Feb 15.


Objectives: To present treatment results of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) at a tertiary cancer care center from 1985 to 2015.

Materials and methods: A total of 2082 patients were eligible for this study. Main outcomes measured were overall survival (OS) and disease specific survival (DSS). Prognostic variables were identified with bivariate analyses using Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank testing for comparison. A p-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant and significant factors were entered into multivariate analysis. Median age was 62 years (16-100), 56% were men, 66% reported a history of tobacco use and 71% of alcohol consumption. The most common subsite was tongue (51%). Seventy-three percent of patients had cT1-2 and 71% had clinically negative necks (cN0). Surgery alone was performed in 1348 patients (65%), adjuvant postoperative radiotherapy in 608 patients (29%) and postoperative chemoradiation in 126 patients (6%). Neck dissection was performed in 920 patients with cN0, and in 585 patients with a clinically involved neck. The median follow-up was 37.6 months (range 1-382).

Results: The 5-year OS and DSS were 64.4% and 79.3%, respectively. Age, comorbidities, margin status, vascular invasion, perineural invasion, AJCC 8th edition pT, and pN were independent prognostic factors of OS (p < 0.05). History of alcohol consumption, margin status, vascular invasion, perineural invasion, pT, and pN were independent prognostic factors of DSS (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: pN stage is the most powerful and consistent predictor of outcome in patients with OSCC treated with primary surgery and appropriate adjuvant therapy.

Keywords: Epidermoid carcinoma; Head and neck cancer; Head and neck neoplasms; Mouth cancer; Mouth neoplasms; Oral cancer; Oral neoplasms; Squamous cell carcinoma; Upper aerodigestive tract neoplasms.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Chemoradiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Mouth Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Mouth Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Neck
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult