[Identification of clinical, biological and prognostic factors in recurring squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck]

Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital. 1997 Jun;17(3):219-24.
[Article in Italian]


Many studies have been performed to determine some prognostic factors for malignant head and neck tumors. Defining the clinical and biological features would enable one to predict the progression of the disease and plan treatment. The aim of the present study has been to identify what host and neoplasm characteristics provide prognostic indication of possible recurrences. A group of 380 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck was studied. The neoplasm was located in the following sites: 257 larynx-hypopharynx, 69 oropharynx, 54 oral cavity. At the present time 309 of these subjects are still alive and disease free while 71 have had recurrences. Analyses were performed on various variables regarding the patient, neoplasm and histology. Multivariante analysis of these prognostic factors was performed using the PLR-BMDP program. The time of recurrence in the primary tumor site and at the lymph node level was evaluated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Of the 28 variables analyzed 16 had no effect on the probability of recurrence. Two variables reduced the risk of recurrence: age over 61 years (p < 0.05) and primarily intra and peritumoral lymphocyte infiltration (p = 0.06). Of the data regarding the patient, age lower than 61 years and presence of associated internal pathologies (i.e. bronchial pneumonia and hepatitis) appeared to significantly facilitate the appearance of recurrence. The characteristics of the neoplasm which appear to effect recurrences are: tumor site (hypopharynx), presence of lymph node metastases, morphological elements of tissue spread (vascular invasion, plasmocyte infiltration), capsular breakdown, positive margins and post-operative infection. In conclusion, it can be asserted that technical development of multifactorial analysis has made it possible to identify important prognostic factors and quantify their impact on the evolution of a neoplasm.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Female
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Head and Neck Neoplasms / pathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Survival Rate