Clinical and pathological determinants in tonsillar cancer

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The purpose of this study was to present the impact of clinicopathological factors on patient survival in tonsillar squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) that needs to be evaluated.


This study enrolled 86 patients with tonsillar SCC undergoing surgical resection.


The cumulative 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) rate for stages I, II, III, and IVa/b tumors was 100%, 91.7%, 100%, and 61.8%, respectively. Unfavorable cumulative 5-year DSS rates were significantly correlated with advanced T classification (p = .029), tumor thickness over 1 cm (p = .007), 3 or more positive neck lymph nodes (p < .001), and extracapsular spread (ECS; p = .002). Cox regression analysis revealed that the presence of 3 or more positive neck lymph nodes (p = .035) and the stage IVa/b (p = .022) were the independent predictors of the 5-year DSS.


Patients with tonsillar SCC with stage IVa/b and metastasis to 3 or more lymph nodes have poorer clinical outcomes. Novel therapeutic strategies are necessary for these patients. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2011

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