Outcome and histopathologic regression in oral squamous cell carcinoma after preoperative radiochemotherapy.
ABSTRACT Preoperative radiochemotherapy has been reported to enhance tumor response and to improve long-term survival in advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. This retrospective study evaluates regression rate and long-term survival in 228 patients with primary oral squamous cell carcinoma treated by neoadjuvant radiochemotherapy and radical surgery.
All patients with biopsy-proven, resectable oral squamous cell carcinoma - TNM stages II-IV without distant metastasis - received preoperative treatment consisting of fractioned irradiation of the primary and the regional lymph nodes with a total dose of 40 Gy and additional cisplatin (n = 160) or carboplatin (n = 68) during the 1st week of treatment. Radical surgery and neck dissection followed after a delay of 10-14 days. The study only included cases with histologically negative resection margins.
After a median follow-up of 5.2 years, 53 patients (23.2%) had experienced local-regional recurrence. The median 2-year disease-specific survival (DSS) rate was 86.2%. 5-year DSS and 10-year DSS were 76.3% and 66.7%, respectively. Complete histological local tumor regression after surgery (ypT0) was observed in 50 patients (21.9%) and was independent of pretreatment tumor classification. Uni- and multivariate survival analysis revealed that ypT- and ypN-stage were the most decisive predictors for DSS.
Preoperative radiochemotherapy with cisplatin/carboplatin followed by radical surgery attains favorable long-term survival rates. This applies especially to cases with complete histological tumor regression after radiochemotherapy, which can be assumed for one of five patients.