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Less may be more: nodal treatment in neck positive head neck cancer patients


Studer, Gabriela; Huber, Gerhard F; Holz, Edna; Glanzmann, Christoph (2016). Less may be more: nodal treatment in neck positive head neck cancer patients. European Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, 273(6):1549-1556.

Abstract

Ongoing debates about the need and extent of planned neck dissection (PND), and required nodal radiation doses volumes lead to this evaluation. Aim was to assess nodal control after definitive intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT ± systemic therapy) followed by PND in our head neck cancer cohort with advanced nodal disease. Between 01/2005 and 12/2013, 99 squamous cell cancer HNC patients with pre-therapeutic nodal metastasis ≥3 cm were treated with definitive IMRT followed by PND. In addition, outcome in 103 patients with nodal relapse after IMRT and observation only (no-PND cohort) were analyzed. Prior to PND, PET-CT, fine needle aspirations, ultrasound and palpation were assessed regarding its predictive value. Patterns of nodal relapse were assessed in patients with isolated neck failure after definitive IMRT alone. 70/99 (70 %) PND specimens showed histopathological complete response (hCR), which translated into statistically significantly superior survival compared with partial response (hPR) with 4-year overall survival, disease specific survival and nodal control rates of 90/83/96 vs 67/60/78 % (p = 0.002/0.001/0.003). 1/99 patient developed isolated subsequent nodal disease. 64/2147 removed nodes contained viable tumor (3 %). Predictive information of the performed diagnostic investigations was not reliable. 17/70 hCR patients showed true negative findings in available three to four investigations (0/29 hPR). 27/103 no-PND patients developed isolated neck disease (26 %) with successful salvage in 21/24 [88 %, or 21/27 (78 %)]. Nearly all failures occurred in the prior nodal gross tumor volume area. A more restrictive approach regarding PND and/or nodal IMRT dose-volumes may be justified.

Abstract

Ongoing debates about the need and extent of planned neck dissection (PND), and required nodal radiation doses volumes lead to this evaluation. Aim was to assess nodal control after definitive intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT ± systemic therapy) followed by PND in our head neck cancer cohort with advanced nodal disease. Between 01/2005 and 12/2013, 99 squamous cell cancer HNC patients with pre-therapeutic nodal metastasis ≥3 cm were treated with definitive IMRT followed by PND. In addition, outcome in 103 patients with nodal relapse after IMRT and observation only (no-PND cohort) were analyzed. Prior to PND, PET-CT, fine needle aspirations, ultrasound and palpation were assessed regarding its predictive value. Patterns of nodal relapse were assessed in patients with isolated neck failure after definitive IMRT alone. 70/99 (70 %) PND specimens showed histopathological complete response (hCR), which translated into statistically significantly superior survival compared with partial response (hPR) with 4-year overall survival, disease specific survival and nodal control rates of 90/83/96 vs 67/60/78 % (p = 0.002/0.001/0.003). 1/99 patient developed isolated subsequent nodal disease. 64/2147 removed nodes contained viable tumor (3 %). Predictive information of the performed diagnostic investigations was not reliable. 17/70 hCR patients showed true negative findings in available three to four investigations (0/29 hPR). 27/103 no-PND patients developed isolated neck disease (26 %) with successful salvage in 21/24 [88 %, or 21/27 (78 %)]. Nearly all failures occurred in the prior nodal gross tumor volume area. A more restrictive approach regarding PND and/or nodal IMRT dose-volumes may be justified.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Radiation Oncology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:June 2016
Deposited On:16 Feb 2017 12:51
Last Modified:07 Aug 2017 13:05
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0937-4477
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00405-015-3634-5
PubMed ID:25920604

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