The significance of regional metastasis location in head and neck cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma

Head Neck. 2021 Sep;43(9):2705-2711. doi: 10.1002/hed.26744. Epub 2021 May 21.


Background: Regional metastasis of head and neck cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (HNcSCC) can be seen in either parotid and/or cervical lymph nodes. The aim of this study was to assess whether there was a difference in prognosis between parotid and cervical nodal metastases.

Methods: Patients with regional metastasis from HNcSCC were identified from an institutional database. Disease-specific (DSS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards models.

Results: Five hundred and thirty-five patients were identified with median follow-up of 26.4 months (3-255 months). Two hundred and thirty-five patients had parotid metastasis, 96 patients had neck metastasis, and 204 patients had both. On multivariable analysis, any regional metastasis to the neck when compared to parotid alone conferred worse DSS (HR 1.8, p = 0.007) and OS (HR 1.3, p = 0.024).

Conclusion: Regional metastasis of HNcSCC to the neck confers worse outcomes compared to metastasis to the parotid alone.

Keywords: head and neck cancer; metastasis; parotid cancer; skin cancer; squamous cell cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / therapy
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck