Efficacy of salvage neck dissection for isolated nodal recurrences in early carcinoma of oral tongue with watchful waiting management of initial N0 neck

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BackgroundRecent studies have shown that salvage treatment may be effective for early tongue carcinoma with nodal failures after watchful waiting policy. We wanted to assess the efficacy of salvage neck dissection.MethodsWe conducted a retrospective review of all patients with pT1 and pT2 oral tongue cancer who underwent partial glossectomy without any neck surgery and determined the survival after salvage neck dissection in this group of patients.ResultsSeventy patients with N0 disease underwent partial glossectomy, 20 patients had development of isolated nodal failures after watchful waiting policy. Apart from the initial T classification, which found to have significant difference in 5-year disease specific survival rate (100% vs 46%, p = .023); other parameters including age, sex, tumor thickness, adjuvant radiotherapy and rN classification had shown no significance in affecting survival.ConclusionsSalvage neck dissection may not be effective for controlling isolated nodal recurrence in patients with oral tongue carcinoma with T2 disease. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2010

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