Oral squamous cell carcinoma: the impact of stage-dependent therapy regimes on postoperative disease recurrence

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To investigate disease recurrence among patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) and positive lymph node lesions receiving different therapy for different stages of the disease.

Study Design

One hundred sixty-one patients with biopsy-proven pN1 and pN2+ carcinomas were reviewed retrospectively. We investigated postoperative disease recurrence when using surgery alone (SA), adjuvant radiotherapy (RT), or adjuvant radiochemotherapy (RCT) and compared our results with the 2012 German guidelines.


Among the study population, 60 (37%) experienced postoperative disease recurrence, 38% with SA, 42% with adjuvant RT, and 39% with adjuvant RCT (P = .420). In the case of pN1, the recurrence rate was 14% with SA, 32% with RT, and 33% with RCT (P = .156); and in pN2+, 60%, 49%, and 29%, respectively (P = .012).


Surgery plus adjuvant therapy has benefits with respect to postoperative disease recurrence in pN2+ OSCC. In pN1, surgery alone might be as effective as adjuvant RT or RCT.

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