Article

Treatment results for 84 patients with base of tongue cancer

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Abstract

For T2 tumors, surgery was indicated if functional preservation was possible. For T3/T4 tumors, the rate of primary disease control was not high and surgery frequently involved total laryngectomy. Points that surgeons must heed when performing such surgery were delineated. Because tumors originating from the base of the tongue are rare, few large-scale studies of such tumors have been performed. We reviewed treatments and outcomes at our department to establish effective future therapeutic plans. From 1971 to 2000, 84 patients with previously untreated and resectable squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue were treated at the Head and Neck Department of the Cancer Institute Hospital, Tokyo. Treatment selection and results were investigated. The main treatment options were radiotherapy for primary lesions < or = T2 and surgery for primary lesions > or = T3. Overall disease-specific 5-year cumulative survival rate was 59.8%, but there was no significant difference in survival rate at each stage between the two treatments. Among patients who died of the primary disease, the area that was most difficult to control was the superior margin of the lateral wall of the oropharynx (n=7). The incidence of contralateral or retropharyngeal lymph node metastasis was low if tumors neither crossed the midline nor infiltrated the lateral wall. While total laryngectomy was performed on 48 patients, the larynx was operatively preserved in 5 T3 patients and one T4 patient.

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... Shimizu et al [23] reported a rate of 13% of RPLN metastases for oropharyngeal cancers, with 29% for patients with posterior and lateral pharyngeal wall cancers and 0% for others sites. Yoshimoto et al [24] reported 2 patients had RPLN metastases at the time of diagnosis and 2 more developed recurrent cancer in the RPLN in 84 patients with base of tongue cancer, and three of these 4 patients had a tumor extending to the lateral pharyngeal wall. Although it's reported that unknown primaries are most likely to occur in the tonsillar area and base of tongue and tonsils, the rate of RPLN metastases is relatively lower for base of tongue cancer and tonsils cancer, especially without the affecting of posterior and lateral pharyngeal wall. ...
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Methods: From January 2005 to January 2015, patients who presented with enlarged retropharyngeal nodes underwent transoral sonography-guided fine-needle aspiration to confirm histology. Those with metastatic undifferentiated SCC with unknown primary tumors were treated with radical radiotherapy to nasopharyngeal mucosa plus bilateral neck. Chemotherapy was administered for patients staged N2-3. Endpoints included metastatic nodes control, the appearance of primary tumor, overall survival and treatment-related toxicities. Results: A total of 49 patients were recruited into this study. Retropharyngeal and cervical nodal disease was controlled in 96% of all patients. The incidence of occult primary cancer appearance was 8%. No primary cancer other than of the nasopharynx was detected during the course of follow-up. Ten patients developed distant metastases. The 5-year overall survival, progression-free survival, regional relapse free survival, distant metastasis free survival were 79.6%, 61.1%, 83.4%, 73.8%, respectively. Common late adverse effects included xerostomia (57%) and hearing impairment (35%). Conclusion: Radical radiotherapy to both the nasopharynx and bilateral neck can achieve excellent outcome with mild toxicities for patients with retropharyngeal metastatic undifferentiated squamous cell carcinoma from an unknown primary site.
... A limited number of prior studies have reported RPLN involvement in oropharyngeal carcinoma, with a variable incidence (Table 4) [12][13][14][20][21][22][23]34]. In our series of 402 patients, the rate of radiological RPLN involvement was 10%. ...
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The influence of retropharyngeal lymph node (RPLN) involvement on prognosis in oropharyngeal carcinoma remains poorly defined. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of RPLN involvement upon outcomes. A single-centre retrospective analysis of 402 patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma treated nonsurgically between 2010 and 2017 was performed. All had a baseline 2-[fluorine-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose (FDG) PET-CT and contrast-enhanced MRI and/or CT. RPLN status was determined by radiology review of cases with reported abnormal RPLN. Multivariate backwards logistic regression was used to examine impact on outcomes of factors. Abnormal RPLNs were identified in 40/402 (10%) of patients. Median follow up was 42.9 months. RPLN involvement was associated with inferior 3 year outcomes for overall survival (OS) (67.1% vs. 79.1%, p = 0.006) and distant metastases-free survival (DMFS) (73.9% versus 88.0%, p = 0.011), with no significant difference in local control (81.6% vs. 87.7%, p = 0.154) or regional control (80.7% vs. 85.4%, p = 0.252). On multivariate analysis abnormal RPLN, no concurrent chemotherapy and ongoing smoking were associated with inferior DMFS and OS, while advanced T stage was also associated with inferior OS. In summary, RPLN involvement, present in 10% of patients, was an independent prognostic factor for the development of distant disease failure translating into inferior OS. These findings need confirmation in future studies.
... A limited number of prior studies have reported RPLN involvement in oropharyngeal carcinoma, with a variable incidence (Table 4) [12][13][14][20][21][22][23]34]. In our series of 402 patients, the rate of radiological RPLN involvement was 10%. ...
... Data regarding the incidence of retropharyngeal lymph node (RP LN) metastases in oropharyngeal cancer are limited due to the difficulty of surgical access [1] with pathological data based upon small series [2,3]. Imaging studies report a variable incidence (2-21%) of RP LN metastases [4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11]. MRI is superior to CT for the detection of RP LNs [1,12,13]. ...
Article
Introduction: The aim was to evaluate in oropharyngeal carcinoma the: (1) incidence and predictors of retropharyngeal (RP) lymph node (LN) involvement, (2) pattern of ipsilateral/bilateral/contralateral-only RP LNs (3) location of RP LNs in relation to contouring guidelines. Methods: Single centre retrospective analysis of 402 patients with oropharyngeal carcinoma treated non-surgically between 2010 and 2017. All patients had a baseline FDG PET-CT and contrast-enhanced MRI and/or CT. All cases with reported abnormal RP LNs underwent radiology review. Results: Abnormal RP LNs were identified in 40/402 (10%) of patients. On multivariate analysis, RP LN involvement was associated with posterior pharyngeal wall/soft palate primaries (OR 10.13 (95% CI 2.29-19.08), p = 0.002) and contralateral cervical LN involvement (OR 2.26 (95% CI 1.05-4.86), p = 0.036). T stage, largest LN size, levels of ipsilateral LN level involvement, HPV and smoking status did not predict risk. 5/402 (1.2%) patients had bilateral RP involvement. 3/402 patients (0.7%) had contralateral-only RP LNs. All patients with contralateral RP LNs had contralateral neck nodes or primary cancers extending across midline. In 5/40 (12.5%) cases with involved RP LNs, the RP LNs were superior to hard palate/upper edge of body of C1 vertebra. Conclusions: RP LNs were identified in 10% of oropharyngeal carcinoma patients, and were associated with contralateral neck disease and/or posterior pharyngeal wall/soft palate primary. Contralateral RP LN involvement was rare and associated with contralateral neck disease and/or primary crossing midline, suggesting potential for omission from target volumes for selected patients. Involvement of RP LNs close to the skull base highlights the need for generous elective outlining.
... Oropharyngeal carcinoma represents 10-15% of the head and neck neoplasms [3]. Of these, cancer of the base of the tongue accounts for between 20-35% [4]. These cancers have traditionally been treated with combined therapy, surgical resection followed by radiation therapy [5,6]. ...
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Introduction: Anterior wall of the oropharynx or the base of the tongue is the site of different types of cancers, most of them usually diagnosed in advanced stages. The most common histological type of cancer diagnosed in these patients is squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). The treatment methods are multiple, but the optimal therapeutic option with best results on outcome and on the patients' quality life has not been established. The objectives of our study were to evaluate the tongue base SCCs treated by transhyoid approach and the oncological outcomes of the surgery combined with radiotherapy. Patients, materials and methods: The retrospective study was performed over a period of 10 years (2001-2010) on 37 previously untreated patients. All the tumors were biopsied and after histopathological (HP) diagnosis, the tumors were excised. All the specimens were fixed in 4% (v/v) buffered formalin and sent for the HP evaluation. Results: In the study were included only the patient diagnosed on biopsy with different types of SCC. The mean age was 61 years old, most of the patients (94.59%) being males. We performed a tongue base transhyoid tumor resection in 23 (62.17%) cases followed by epiglottectomy in five (13.51%) cases or horizontal supraglottic laryngectomy in nine (24.32%) cases, respectively. Bilateral neck dissections and postoperative radiotherapy were performed in all cases. The postoperative and post-therapeutic evolution was favorable at three years (81.1%) and five years (75.67%). There were no signs of local or regional recurrences. The tumor specific three-year and five-year survival rates were: pT2 100%, pT3 87.5%, pT4a 71.42% and 57.14%, and pT4b 50% and 25%, respectively. The stage specific three-year and five-year survival rates were: stage II 100%, stage III 85.71%, stage IVA 83.33% and 79.16%, and stage IVB 50% and 25%, respectively. Conclusions: The prognosis for the SCC of the tongue base is poor. Cancer resection by transhyoid approach is a feasible procedure, which permits a good tumor control with limited postoperative morbidity, with an important benefit on the life quality of the patients.
... They found that the risk was higher for patients with posterior and lateral pharyngeal wall cancers (29% for lateral and posterior wall vs 0% for others sites). In 2007, Yoshimoto et al 34 reported their series of 84 patients with base of tongue cancer. In this series, 2 patients had RPLN metastases at the time of diagnosis and 2 more developed recurrent cancer in the RPLN. ...
Article
Retropharyngeal lymph node (RPLN) metastasis of primary head and neck cancer often receives less consideration than lymph node metastasis in the neck. With improvements in imaging techniques and reports of surgical pathology, there is an improved understanding of the risk and subsequently the need for treatment of RPLNs. The rates of RPLN metastasis from carcinomas of the nasopharynx, oropharynx, hypopharynx, postcricoid region, maxillary sinus, and cervical esophagus are sufficiently high to warrant routine treatment, either electively or therapeutically, of this region. Through improved diagnostic techniques and heightened awareness of RPLN metastasis, patients at risk of having these metastases can be treated more effectively. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2010
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Introduction and objectivesSquamous cell carcinomas of the oropharynx are aggressive tumours usually diagnosed at advanced stage. Their optimal treatment has not been established. The aim of this study was to compare the oncological and functional outcomes in patients with carcinomas of the oropharynx treated by radiotherapy (with chemotherapy in advanced stages) vs surgery (with radiotherapy in advanced stages).MethodsA retrospective study on 50 patients with squamous cell cancer of the oropharynx treated by radiotherapy (with or without chemotherapy) at our institution between 1998 and 2008 was carried out. The oncological and functional results were compared with patients with same cancer location and stage treated by surgery (with or without radiotherapy). In both groups, the patients were classified as follows: 10% Stage I, 12% Stage II, 16% Stage III, 48% Stage IVa and 14% Stage IVb.ResultsThe 5-year disease-specific survival was 33% in the radiotherapy group and 52% in the surgical group (P=.17). Five-year disease-specific survival for Stage I and II patients was 82% in the radiotherapy group and 70% in the surgical group. In Stage III and IV disease, 5-year disease-specific survival was higher in the surgical group (47% vs 17%). The functional results were similar; anatomical and functional preservation of the larynx was higher in the radiotherapy group but the successful return to oral food intake was higher in the surgical group.Conclusions The prognosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx is poor. Oncological results in Stages I and II were similar for radiotherapy and surgical treatments. In advanced stages, the prognosis was better in patients treated by surgery with or without radiotherapy. Functional results were similar in both treatment modalities.
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INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: Squamous cell carcinomas of the oropharynx are aggressive tumours usually diagnosed at advanced stage. Their optimal treatment has not been established. The aim of this study was to compare the oncological and functional outcomes in patients with carcinomas of the oropharynx treated by radiotherapy (with chemotherapy in advanced stages) vs surgery (with radiotherapy in advanced stages). METHODS: A retrospective study on 50 patients with squamous cell cancer of the oropharynx treated by radiotherapy (with or without chemotherapy) at our institution between 1998 and 2008 was carried out. The oncological and functional results were compared with patients with same cancer location and stage treated by surgery (with or without radiotherapy). In both groups, the patients were classified as follows: 10% Stage I, 12% Stage II, 16% Stage III, 48% Stage IVa and 14% Stage IVb. RESULTS: The 5-year disease-specific survival was 33% in the radiotherapy group and 52% in the surgical group (P=.17). Five-year disease-specific survival for Stage I and II patients was 82% in the radiotherapy group and 70% in the surgical group. In Stage III and IV disease, 5-year disease-specific survival was higher in the surgical group (47% vs 17%). The functional results were similar; anatomical and functional preservation of the larynx was higher in the radiotherapy group but the successful return to oral food intake was higher in the surgical group. CONCLUSIONS: The prognosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx is poor. Oncological results in Stages I and II were similar for radiotherapy and surgical treatments. In advanced stages, the prognosis was better in patients treated by surgery with or without radiotherapy. Functional results were similar in both treatment modalities.
Introduction and objectivesSquamous cell carcinomas at the base of the tongue are usually diagnosed at advanced stages, and their optimal treatment has not been established. The aim of this study was to describe the functional and oncological outcomes of patients with base of tongue carcinomas treated with surgery.
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We reported 3 cases of advanced oropharyngeal carcinomas who underwent superselective intra-arterial infusion chemoradiotherapy (IA-CRT). The primary lesions were T4a in all cases (2 cases of the anterior wall and one case of the lateral wall). The patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (docetaxel +cisplatin+ 5-FU) followed by IA-CRT (3 courses of weekly intra-arterial infusion of cisplatin (100 mg/body) concurrent with radiotherapy (60 Gy/30 fractions)). Complete remission was achieved in all cases, and the patients have been free from disease for 14-16 month follow-up periods. We stress that IA-CRT is a powerful treatment for organ preservation and may be a hopeful alternative for inoperable cases in advanced head and neck cancers.
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Objectives Choice between surgical or medical treatments in head and neck cancer depends of many patient-related and disease-related factors. We investigated how patients’ socioeconomic status and practitioners’ specialty could affect medical decision-making. Materials and Methods We conducted a cross-sectional online, nationwide survey, send to surgeons, oncologists and radiotherapists specialized in head and neck oncology. We collected data on medical decision-making for seven clinical scientific scenarios involving head and neck carcinoma and physicians’ demographic data. Patients’ gender and socioeconomic position were distributed across scientific scenarios using a Latin square design. The scientific scenarios were grouped into several categories according to the prognostic and functional impact of the therapeutic choice. Results We obtained 206 assessable answers. Surgeons seemed to propose surgery in 49% of cases, whereas oncologists and radiotherapists opted for it in 34% of cases only. This was particularly relevant when the oncological result of surgery and the medical approach were equivalent, and when the surgery appeared to be superior in terms of curative potential but was burdened by a large functional impact. Patient's socioeconomic position also influence therapeutic decision. Among surgeons, the “single male manager” had significantly more chance of being offered surgery than the “married male blue-collar worker”. Among oncologists and radiotherapists, the “single male blue-collar worker” had the lowest probability of being proposed surgery. Regarding gender, surgeons tended to offer surgical management more to women regardless of their clinical profile. Conclusions Patients’ sex, marital status, socioeconomic status, practitioners’ specialty affect therapeutic management decisions in head and neck oncology.
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Le buccofaringectomie sono spesso realizzate nel quadro della gestione dei tumori orofaringei e della cerniera orofaringea. Si tratta di interventi ben codificati i cui principali progressi recenti riguardano le vie d⬢accesso e le modalità di ricostruzione. L⬢uso di lembi di ricostruzione più sottili e più malleabili e la comparsa di nuove tecniche di emostasi hanno, in effetti, consentito lo sviluppo di vie d⬢accesso meno iatrogene, come la via combinata transorale e cervicale senza mandibulotomia, consentendo exeresi orofaringee ampie e riducendo, al tempo stesso, la iatrogenia della procedura chirurgica. Per alcuni tumori, anche la chirurgia transorale assistita da robot apre nuove prospettive. Questi interventi devono inserirsi coerentemente nel regolare svolgimento del piano di trattamento: o in trattamento iniziale o in trattamento di salvataggio dopo insuccesso di una radio(chemio)terapia. La padronanza delle indicazioni terapeutiche deve tendere verso un duplice obiettivo: controllo del tumore e qualità di vita dei pazienti.
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Squamous cell carcinomas at the base of the tongue are usually diagnosed at advanced stages, and their optimal treatment has not been established. The aim of this study was to describe the functional and oncological outcomes of patients with base of tongue carcinomas treated with surgery. A retrospective study on 132 patients with base of tongue carcinoma surgically treated in our hospital between 1990 and 2007 was carried out. One patient (0.75%) was in stage I, 8 (6%) were in stage II, 15 (11%) in stage III, 91 (69%) in stage IVA, and 17 (13%) with stage IVB. A total of 92 (70%) patients received postoperative radiotherapy. Eighty-seven patients (66%) had recurrence: 23 patients (17%) had local recurrence, 15 (11%) regional, 20 (15%) locoregional, 16 (12%) locoregional and distant, and 9 (7%) distant metastases. The disease-specific survival was 34% at 5 years (100% for stages I and II, 44% for stage III, 28% for stage IVA and 12% for IVB; p=0.0004). Multivariate analysis showed two variables independently associated with worse survival: lymph node metastases classified as N2-3 (p=0.016) and primary tumours classified as T3-4 (p=0.040). Adequate oral intake was achieved by 96% of the patients and 79% could be decannulated. The prognosis of squamous cell carcinomas of the base of the tongue is poor, especially in advanced stages. Surgical treatment provides oncological and functional results similar to other therapeutic modalities.
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Background To determine the survival results, patterns of relapse, and organ preservation effects of a targeted chemoradiation protocol for patients with advanced (stage III–IV) carcinoma of the head and neck. Methods Analysis of 213 patients with stage III–IV squamous cell carcinoma treated at UT Memphis between June 1993 and March 1998. Treatment included weekly intra‐arterial infusions of cisplatin (150 mg/m²/ week × 4) rapidly delivered to the tumor bulk, simultaneous intravenous thiosulfate for systemic drug neutralization, and conventional external‐beam irradiation (180–200 cGy/fraction) to a total dose of 68–72 Gy. Results Tumor response, toxicity, disease control above the clavicle, pattern of relapse, and survival. There were 89 events of grade III–IV toxicity and 6 treatment‐related deaths (grade V). Complete response in the primary and regional sites was obtained in 171 of 213 (80%) and 92 of 151 (61%), respectively. The rate of clearance of regional disease after neck dissection was 98%. There were 51 of 195 recurrences (26%): 11 local (5.6%), 5 regional (2.6%), and 35 distant (17.9%). The Kaplan Meier plot projections for overall and cancer‐related 5‐year survival was 38.8% and 53.6%, respectively, whereas disease control above the clavicle was 74.3%. Conclusions We believe this chemoradiation protocol represents an effective management scheme for patients with advanced head and neck cancer with a high rate of organ preservation and possibly improved survival. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Head Neck 22: 687–693, 2000.
Article
Background The current treatment options for cancer of the base of the tongue and glosso-epiglottic region are surgery, radiotherapy, or a combination of both modalities. Comparisons between different modalities are not common in the literature, and a real standard of treatment has not yet been established. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the results of treatment in a large series of patients from 18 Italian institutions in relation to the main treatment adopted. Methods The present study is a retrospective survey. The series was divided into a combined surgery group and a radiotherapy group. The Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test were used for survival calculations and comparisons. Results Eight hundred patients were registered (25.7% stage III and 62% stage IV), 336 in the surgery and 372 in the radiotherapy group. Conventional fractionation was adopted in almost all cases. The five-year overall and disease free survival of the whole series was 32% and 38%, respectively. Survival was slightly better for patients with tumors of the glosso-epiglottic region than for those with a tumor of the base of the tongue. Five-year disease-free survival was 55% for patients treated with surgery +/- radiochemotherapy and 26% for those submitted to radiotherapy alone or in combination with chemotherapy. As far as the total dose and the treatment duration were concerned, only 26% of the patients of the radiotherapy group met the established criteria of adequacy, but in patients with adequate radiation the control rate was better only for small tumors (T1-T2). Conclusions The results in patients treated with surgery +/-postoperative radiotherapy were similar to or better than those reported in the best series in the literature. By contrast, the survival rate of irradiated patients was lower than those reported by other centers.
Article
Background To determine the survival results, patterns of relapse, and organ preservation effects of a targeted chemoradiation protocol for patients with advanced (stage III–IV) carcinoma of the head and neck.Methods Analysis of 213 patients with stage III–IV squamous cell carcinoma treated at UT Memphis between June 1993 and March 1998. Treatment included weekly intra-arterial infusions of cisplatin (150 mg/m2/ week × 4) rapidly delivered to the tumor bulk, simultaneous intravenous thiosulfate for systemic drug neutralization, and conventional external-beam irradiation (180–200 cGy/fraction) to a total dose of 68–72 Gy.ResultsTumor response, toxicity, disease control above the clavicle, pattern of relapse, and survival. There were 89 events of grade III–IV toxicity and 6 treatment-related deaths (grade V). Complete response in the primary and regional sites was obtained in 171 of 213 (80%) and 92 of 151 (61%), respectively. The rate of clearance of regional disease after neck dissection was 98%. There were 51 of 195 recurrences (26%): 11 local (5.6%), 5 regional (2.6%), and 35 distant (17.9%). The Kaplan Meier plot projections for overall and cancer-related 5-year survival was 38.8% and 53.6%, respectively, whereas disease control above the clavicle was 74.3%.Conclusions We believe this chemoradiation protocol represents an effective management scheme for patients with advanced head and neck cancer with a high rate of organ preservation and possibly improved survival. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Head Neck 22: 687–693, 2000.
Article
IntroductionSquamous cell carcinoma (SSC) of the tongue base has historically been shown to be associated with a poor prognosis. We reviewed our experience with primary surgery followed by postoperative radiation therapy (XRT) to determine the impact of our treatment protocols on outcome.Methods We retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients presenting to the University of Pittsburgh with previously untreated SSC of the tongue base between 1980–1997. Patients who were treated nonoperatively were excluded from analysis. Surgical excision of the primary was performed with ipsilateral neck dissection. The contralateral neck was dissected when the primary lesion was located in the midline or for clinically positive contralateral neck nodes. Postoperatively, most patients (93%) received XRT to the primary site and neck. Adjuvant chemotherapy was offered if histologic signs of aggressive behavior were identified (multiple nodes or extracapsular spread).ResultsOf 87 patients identified, 39 (45%) were initially seen with T1 or T2 tumors. Seventy-nine patients (91%) were initially seen with stage III or IV disease. Contralateral neck dissection was performed in 36 patients (41%). Metastatic disease was demonstrated in 84% of ipsilateral neck nodes and in 47% of contralateral neck nodes. Occult metastases were found in 61% of clinically N0 necks. Local recurrence occurred in 5 patients, regional recurrence occurred in 12 patients, and distant metastases developed in 22 patients. Overall and disease-specific survival rates at 5 years for all patients were 49% and 56%, respectively. The 5 year disease-specific survival rates for stage I, stage II, stage III, and stage IV disease were 100%, 86%, 62%, and 48%. The 5-year disease-specific survival rate was 88% for T1 lesions, 64% for T2 lesions, 58% for T3 lesions, and 30% for T4 lesions (p < .05, log-rank test).Conclusions Surgical treatment of SCC of the tongue base is highly effective in achieving local disease control and disease-free survival for early lesions. Because both functional outcome and survival are poor after surgical treatment of advanced lesions, we now offer brachytherapy with XRT or participation in a combined chemoradiation protocol rather than primary surgical therapy to patients with advanced disease. Prospective studies are needed to compare the effect of these organ-preserving therapies with traditional combined surgery and XRT to determine the effect on functional outcome and quality of life. © 2001 Wiley & Sons, Inc. Head Neck 23: 653–660, 2001.
Article
There are several management options for patients with squamous cell cancer of the base of tongue. We have had an interest in using primary radiotherapy with or without neck dissection, in an effort to provide optimal oncologic as well as functional outcomes. From 1981 to 1995, 68 patients with primary squamous cell cancer of the base of tongue were managed with primary radiotherapy, with neck dissection added for those who were initially seen with palpable lymph node metastases. Ages ranged from 35 to 77 years (median age, 55 years). There were 59 men and 9 women. T Stage distribution was: T1, 17; T2, 32; T3, 17; T4, 2. Fifty-eight patients (85%) were initially seen with nodal metastases. Initial treatment generally involved external-beam radiotherapy (EBRT) to the primary site and upper neck (54 Gy) and to the low neck (50 Gy). A 192-Ir brachytherapy boost (20-30 Gy) to the base of tongue was done about 3 weeks later, at the same anesthesia used for the neck dissection. All patients had temporary tracheostomy. Follow-up ranged from 1 month to 151 months (median, 36 months). Nine patients received neoadjuvant chemotherapy as part of a larynx-preservation protocol. Actuarial 5- and 10-year local control is 89% and 89%, distant metastasis free survival is 91% and 76%, disease-free survival is 80% and 67%, and overall survival is 86% and 52%, respectively. Complications occurred in 16%. Our long term data clearly demonstrate that primary radiotherapy produces excellent oncologic outcomes.
Article
Squamous cell carcinomas of the base of the tongue often are diagnosed at advanced stages, in a context of undernutrition with a history of smoking and alcoholism. The local treatment of these tumours is based on external irradiation, either alone or combined with brachytherapy, followed by salvage surgery in the case of failure. Surgery was rarely performed as first-line treatment in our institution until 1992. From 1960 to 1992, 216 patients were treated, without prior selection, according to the same protocol comprising external irradiation and salvage surgery in the case of failure. The tumour classification (UICC 88) was as follows: 14% of T1, 26% of T2, 44% of T3; 16% of T4; the median age was 58 years; tumour regression was evaluated during and at the end of irradiation. The locoregional control rates were 45% at 5 years, 37% at 10 years: 82% at 5 and 10 years for stage I, 65% and 54% for stage II, 51% and 45% for stage III, 35% and 32% for stage IV. Overall survival rates were 27% at 5 years and 14% at 10 years; 53% and 27% for stage I, 34% and 17% for stages II and III, 18% and 12% for stage IV. Causes of death were primarily local failures (58%), intercurrent disease (15%), metastases (10%), and second cancers (8%). Multivariate analysis demonstrated three predictive factors of locoregional control and survival: tumour regression at the end of irradiation (p = 0.0001), age (p = 0.04), and tumour stage (p = 0.06). The results of this retrospective series confirm the poor prognosis of tumours of the base of the tongue. Irradiation and surgery remain the standard treatments; possibilities of improvement are currently under evaluation, such as acceleration of irradiation, and concomitant radiochemotherapy combinations, which currently appear to be the most promising approaches.
Article
The current treatment options for cancer of the base of the tongue and glosso-epiglottic region are surgery, radiotherapy, or a combination of both modalities. Comparisons between different modalities are not common in the literature, and a real standard of treatment has not yet been established. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the results of treatment in a large series of patients from 18 Italian institutions in relation to the main treatment adopted. The present study is a retrospective survey. The series was divided into a combined surgery group and a radiotherapy group. The Kaplan-Meier method and the log-rank test were used for survival calculations and comparisons. Eight hundred patients were registered (25.7% stage III and 62% stage IV), 336 in the surgery and 372 in the radiotherapy group. Conventional fractionation was adopted in almost all cases. The five-year overall and disease free survival of the whole series was 32% and 38%, respectively. Survival was slightly better for patients with tumors of the glosso-epiglottic region than for those with a tumor of the base of the tongue. Five-year disease-free survival was 55% for patients treated with surgery +/- radiochemotherapy and 26% for those submitted to radiotherapy alone or in combination with chemotherapy. As far as the total dose and the treatment duration were concerned, only 26% of the patients of the radiotherapy group met the established criteria of adequacy, but in patients with adequate radiation the control rate was better only for small tumors (T1-T2). The results in patients treated with surgery +/- postoperative radiotherapy were similar to or better than those reported in the best series in the literature. By contrast, the survival rate of irradiated patients was lower than those reported by other centers.
Article
To determine the survival results, patterns of relapse, and organ preservation effects of a targeted chemoradiation protocol for patients with advanced (stage III-IV) carcinoma of the head and neck. Analysis of 213 patients with stage III-IV squamous cell carcinoma treated at UT Memphis between June 1993 and March 1998. Treatment included weekly intra-arterial infusions of cisplatin (150 mg/m(2)/ week x 4) rapidly delivered to the tumor bulk, simultaneous intravenous thiosulfate for systemic drug neutralization, and conventional external-beam irradiation (180-200 cGy/fraction) to a total dose of 68-72 Gy. Tumor response, toxicity, disease control above the clavicle, pattern of relapse, and survival. There were 89 events of grade III-IV toxicity and 6 treatment-related deaths (grade V). Complete response in the primary and regional sites was obtained in 171 of 213 (80%) and 92 of 151 (61%), respectively. The rate of clearance of regional disease after neck dissection was 98%. There were 51 of 195 recurrences (26%): 11 local (5.6%), 5 regional (2.6%), and 35 distant (17.9%). The Kaplan Meier plot projections for overall and cancer-related 5-year survival was 38.8% and 53.6%, respectively, whereas disease control above the clavicle was 74.3%. We believe this chemoradiation protocol represents an effective management scheme for patients with advanced head and neck cancer with a high rate of organ preservation and possibly improved survival.
Article
Locoregionally advanced oropharyngeal cancer has been conventionally treated with either surgery and adjuvant radiotherapy or radiotherapy alone, and clinical and functional outcomes have been poor. Chemoradiotherapy has been demonstrated to improve functional outcome and disease control over conventional treatment in recent randomized head and neck trials. Herein, we report overall survival, progression-free survival, and patterns of failure in locoregionally advanced oropharyngeal cancer treated with induction chemotherapy with or without conservative surgery followed by concomitant chemoradiation. Three cycles of induction chemotherapy consisting of cisplatin, 5-fluorouracil, leucovorin, and interferon alpha-2b (PFL-IFN) were followed by conservative, organ-sparing surgery for residual disease. All patients then proceeded to concomitant chemoradiation consisting of seven or eight cycles of 5-fluorouracil, hydroxyurea, and a total radiotherapy dose of roughly 7,000 cGy. Sixty-one patients with predominantly stage IV disease were treated. Clinical complete response was observed in 65% of patients after induction therapy. The median follow-up was 68.0 months for survivors and 39.0 months for all patients. At 5 years, overall survival is 51%, progression-free survival is 64%, locoregional control is 70%, and distant control is 89%. Locoregional recurrence accounted for 80% of all initial failures. Only five radical surgeries (none were total glossectomy) were performed for initial disease control. Treatment-related toxicity accounted for four deaths. PFL-IFN given with 5-fluorouracil, hydroxyurea, and radiotherapy produces a high rate of cures with organ preservation in a disease group that has traditionally fared poorly. Local and distant disease control and survival rates exceed those observed with more standard treatment approaches involving surgery and radiotherapy. Further investigation into chemoradiotherapy as a curative modality for this disease is warranted.
Article
Quality-of-life analysis is essential in determining the eventual outcome after treatment for head and neck cancer. This is particularly important when functional sequelae of treatment cause significant morbidity. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the functional status of a group of patients who had undergone primary surgical therapy for squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue. At our institution from 1979 to 1993, we identified 93 patients who had undergone resection of the base of the tongue as primary treatment for squamous cell carcinoma. Patients who required laryngectomy were excluded from this group. Forty-eight survivors were identified, and the questionnaires included the Performance Status Scale for Head and Neck Cancer Patients (PSS) and the Karnofsky Performance Status Scale (KPS). The data were reported numerically, with 0 representing the worst score and 100 representing the best score. Twenty-six patients completed the questionnaires. There were 19 men and 7 women. Their mean survival time was 8.6 years. Two patients had their primary tumors staged as T1, 17 patients had T2, and 7 patients had T3 disease. When evaluating the normalcy of diet, the mean score for the whole group was 73.1 (range, 20-100), the mean score for understandability of speech was 80.8 (range, 50-100), and the mean score for eating in public was 79.8 (range, 0-00). The mean KPS was 90 (range, 60-100). When comparing early (T1 and T2) with advanced (T3) disease, there were no significant differences in PSS and KPS. When comparing younger (<50 years) with older (>50 years) patients, there were no significant differences in PSS scores. Younger patients had a significantly higher KPS than older patients: mean, 97.5 vs 86.4 (p <.02). The long-term functional status for these patients who had undergone resection of a significant portion of the base of their tongue was good. The outcome did not seem to be related to either the stage of the lesion or the age of the patient. More studies are needed to examine the functional outcome of this patient population.
Article
To evaluate survival and functional results of the treatment of carcinomas of the vallecula using surgery, irradiation, and interstitial brachytherapy. Between 1990 and 1998, 36 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the vallecula were treated with horizontal supraglottic functional laryngectomy, external beam radiotherapy (median dose 54 Gy), and additional interstitial brachytherapy (median dose 16 Gy). Results were compared with a previous series of 22 patients treated without brachytherapy. The median follow-up was 44 months. The 5-year actuarial overall survival rate was 61.3%. The 5-year specific survival rate was 86%, with 2 local failures (local control rate 94.4%) and 4 isolated distant metastases. Ten patients developed a second primary. The overall survival was 34% for 22 patients previously treated without brachytherapy. Severe toxicities occurred in 9 patients: death (related to larynx edema or inhalation, n = 1), soft tissue necrosis (n = 1), aspiration pneumonia (n = 1), mandibular necrosis (n = 2), pharyngocutaneous fistula (n = 2), and laryngeal edema (n = 2). All the patients fed orally with no definitive gastrostomy or tracheotomy. Additional brachytherapy for vallecula carcinoma seems to improve locoregional control and overall survival dramatically. Functional results were also excellent. To our knowledge, this original therapeutic schedule has never been previously described.
Article
To determine the efficacy, feasibility, and toxicity of a new regimen for locally advanced oropharyngeal carcinoma. Patients had technically resectable stage III/IV squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, exclusive of T1-2N1. Induction chemotherapy consisted of carboplatin (area under the curve formula equal to 6) and paclitaxel 200 mg/m(2) for two cycles, followed by re-evaluation. Patients with major response continued to definitive radiotherapy (70 Gy over 7 weeks) plus concurrent once-weekly paclitaxel (30 mg/m(2)/wk). Patients with advanced neck disease also underwent post-radiation therapy neck dissection and two more chemotherapy cycles. Fifty-three patients were enrolled. Median follow-up was 31 months (minimum follow-up for survivors was 18 months). The major response rate to induction chemotherapy was 89%; 90% of patients had a complete response after concurrent chemoradiation. Actuarial survival at 3 years was 70%, and 3-year event-free survival was 59%. The 3-year actuarial locoregional control was 82% and the 3-year actuarial rate of distant metastases was 19%. Organ preservation was achieved in 77% of all patients. One patient (2%) died during therapy. Late grade 3 toxicity occurred in 24% of patients, consisting mainly of chronic dysphagia/aspiration and/or radiation soft tissue ulceration. The treatment-related mortality rate was 4% (two patients died from respiratory failure). Response to induction chemotherapy as studied in this trial was not useful as a predictive marker for ultimate outcome or organ conservation. Overall, however, this regimen offers good disease control and survival for patients with locally advanced oropharyngeal carcinoma, comparable with other concurrent chemoradiation programs. Further study of similar protocols is indicated.
Article
The study reported the results of treatment for base of tongue cancer with five different treatment modalities with long-term follow-up. This was a retrospective study of 262 patients with base of tongue cancer treated in the Departments of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Radiation Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine (St. Louis, MO) from July 1955 to January 1998. The study population included previously untreated patients with biopsy-proven squamous cell carcinoma of the base of tongue who were treated with curative intent by one of five modalities and were all eligible for 5-year follow-up. The treatment modalities included local resection alone, composite resection alone, radiation therapy alone, local resection with radiation therapy, and composite resection with radiation therapy. Multiple diagnostic, treatment, and follow-up parameters were studied using standard statistical analysis to determine statistical significance. The overall 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) was 49.6% with death due to tumor in 50.4%. The 5-year cumulative disease-specific survival probability (CDSS) was 0.526 (Kaplan-Meier) with a mean of 7.8 years and a median of 5.6 years. Patients with early disease had significantly improved DSS compared with patients with more advanced disease (stages I and II; TN stages T1N0, T2N0, and T2N1; and T stages T1 and T2.). Patients with N0 had better DSS than patients with positive lymph nodes (P =.010). The DSS for all stages by treatment modality included local resection (70.0%), composite resection (47.6%), radiation therapy (40.4%), local resection and radiation therapy (50.0%), and composite resection with radiation therapy (51.5%). Overall and within the stages there was no significant difference in either DSS or CDSS by treatment modality. Local-regional recurrence occurred in 26% of patients, and overall salvage was 10.5%. Patients with clear resection margins did better than patients with close or involved margins (DSS and CDSS). Patients treated with radiation therapy alone had improved capacity to swallow (P =.001), speak (P =.01), and work (P =.001) compared with patients treated with the other modalities. Cancer of the base of tongue is a lethal disease, and its treatment results in significant disability. No treatment produced a significantly improved survival advantage. Focus on improving local-regional control might improve overall survival. All treatment modalities were associated with major treatment-related complications. Radiation alone produced significantly improved post-treatment function and quality of life compared with the other modalities. Because of the recurrence rates at the primary and neck sites and the high rates of development of distant metastasis and second primary cancers, patients should be monitored for a minimum of at least 4 years.
Article
To assess long-term efficacy and toxicity associated with external beam irradiation (EBRT) and interstitial (192)Ir implantation for the treatment of squamous carcinoma of the base of tongue. Between April 1975 and December 1993, 41 patients with base-of-tongue carcinomas were treated with (192)Ir interstitial implants after EBRT at Stanford University. One patient had Stage I, 6 had Stage II, 7 had Stage III, and 27 had Stage IV tumors. Twenty-eight patients had cervical lymph node involvement at diagnosis. All received EBRT to a median dose of 50 Gy (range 48.9-68 Gy) to the primary tumor and regional lymph nodes before brachytherapy. Interstitial implant was performed 2-4 weeks after EBRT. Intraoperatively, nylon catheters were placed via steel trocars into the base of tongue, glossotonsillar groove, and pharyngo-epiglottic fold using a catheter looping technique. Twenty-three of 28 node-positive patients also underwent simultaneous neck dissections. Postoperatively, the (192)Ir seeds were inserted and allowed to remain in place for approximately 35 h to achieve a median tumor dose of 26 Gy (range 20-34 Gy) to a median volume of 73 cc. Survival, local control, and complications were assessed. With a median follow-up of 62 months (range 9-215) for all patients and 90 months for alive patients, the 5-year Kaplan-Meier survival estimate was 66%. The 5-year local control rate was 82%, with 7 patients recurring locally, 2 of whom were salvaged with surgery. Nodal control was achieved in 93% of patients with either EBRT alone or in combination with neck dissection. The 5-year freedom from distant metastasis rate was 83%. Acute complications included transient bleeding (5%) and infection (8%). Late complication included soft-tissue necrosis/ulceration (7%), osteoradionecrosis (5%), and xerostomia. Base-of-tongue carcinoma can be effectively treated with EBRT and (192)Ir implant boost. Local control is excellent and complication rates are acceptable.
Article
Swallowing dysfunction is a common side effect of chemoradiation. Twelve patients with stage III or IV squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck were enrolled. Videofluorographic swallowing studies were performed before initiation of chemoradiation to provide baseline swallowing function data. Postchemoradiation videofluorographic swallowing studies were performed from 1 to 14 weeks after the completion of treatment (mean, 8 weeks). Changes in swallowing physiology after treatment included decreased base of tongue to posterior pharyngeal wall contact (p =.0010) and reduced pharyngeal contraction (p =.0313), resulting in impaired bolus transport through the pharynx. In addition, decreased laryngeal elevation (p =.0039), decreased laryngeal vestibule closure (p =.0078), and laryngeal penetration (p =.0078) were present. Bolus volume did not have a significant effect on swallowing ability. Aspiration was observed in four patients. Organ preservation treatment impairs movement of structures essential for normal swallowing. Prophylactic swallowing exercises may benefit these patients.
Article
This study provides the largest contemporary overview of presentation, care, and outcome for base of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). We extracted 16,188 cases from the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB). Chi-square analyses were performed on selected cross-tabulations. Observed and disease-specific survival were used to analyze outcome. Three-quarters had advanced-stage (III-IV) disease. Radiation therapy alone (24.5%) and combined with surgery (26.9%) were the most common treatments. Five-year observed and disease-specific survival rates were 27.8% and 40.3%, respectively. Poorer survival was significantly associated with older age, low income, and advanced-stage disease. For early-stage disease, surgery with or without irradiation had higher survival than irradiation alone. For advanced-stage disease, surgery with irradiation had the highest survival. Survival rates were low for base of tongue SCC, with most deaths occurring within the first 2 years. Income, stage, and age were significant prognostic factors. In this nonrandomized series, surgery with radiation therapy offered patients with advanced-stage disease the best survival.
Article
This study reports on T3/T4 base of tongue (BOT) tumors treated at the Erasmus MC (Rotterdam) with external beam radiotherapy (EBRT) and brachytherapy (BT). Local control, survival, and functional outcome are compared to results obtained in similar patients treated at the Vrije University Medical Center (VUMC, Amsterdam) by surgery and postoperative RT (PORT). At Rotterdam 46/2 Gy was given to the primary and bilateral neck, followed by an implant using low-dose-rate (LDR 24-35 Gy; median 27 Gy), or fractionated high-dose-rate (fr. HDR 20-28 Gy; median 24 Gy). A neck dissection (ND) was performed in case of N+ disease. 67% of BOT tumors had a T4 cancer. At Amsterdam surgery (S) followed by PORT 40-70 Gy (median 60 Gy) was performed; 26% BOT tumors were T4. Sex, age and nodal distribution were similar. Actuarial local control and survival were computed. Performance Status Scale (PSS) scores were established. Xerostomis was determined on visual analog scales (VAS). Local failure at 5-years was 37% (Rotterdam) vs. 9% (Amsterdam) (p < 0.01). The overall survival was not significantly different (median 2.5 years vs. 2.9 years, respectively [p = 0.47]). The PSS favored brachytherapy. Both groups were equally affected by xerostomia. The 5-year local control was 65% with EBRT and BT. This result is strongly affected by 4 patients with residual disease after implantation. The Rotterdam patients had more advanced BOT tumors (67% vs. 26% T4), explaining the higher local failure rate. Given the organ preservation properties of radiotherapy-only and the better PSS scores, the jury is still out on the optimal treatment for BOT tumors.
Article
The outcomes of patients treated at a single institution over a specific time frame using three different therapeutic approaches for cancer of the base of tongue were reviewed. Between 1992 and 1998, 53 patients were treated with curative intent for base of tongue cancer. Seventeen patients underwent surgical resection with postoperative radiation therapy, 16 patients received definitive external radiation therapy only, and 20 patients were treated with external and interstitial radiation, with neck dissection in 16 of those patients. Local control, survival, and functional status were assessed with each approach. The 5-year actuarial local control and survival for the surgically treated patients were 74% and 44%, respectively. The patients treated with external radiation therapy alone had local control of 28% and 5-year survival of 24%. The patients treated with external and interstitial radiation with neck dissection as indicated had 5-year actuarial local control of 87% and survival of 33%. Survival was not statistically different between the three treatment approaches (p=0.0995) but local control was worse in the definitive external radiation group (p < 0.0001). Speech and swallowing function among the long-term survivors was superior in the definitively irradiated patients compared with the operated patients. In this retrospective analysis, survival and local control was lowest in the patients treated with external radiation alone, however, patient selection likely played an important role. Local control was far better with surgical treatment and with external combined with interstitial radiation but survival remains less than 50% with each approach. Surgical treatment was superior for patients with T4 disease. Functional status was higher in the long-term survivors treated nonsurgically.
Article
The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term outcome of a cohort of patients with unresected base of tongue carcinoma who received interstitial brachytherapy after comprehensive external beam radiation therapy. Between 1983 and 2000, 122 patients with primary or recurrent squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx or oral cavity received interstitial brachytherapy as part of their overall management. Forty patients had primary, unresected carcinoma of the base of tongue and are the subjects of this analysis. The median age was 54 years. Fifty-four percent had T3 or T4 disease, and 70% had clinical or radiographic lymphadenopathy. Twenty-four (60%) received two to three cycles of neoadjuvant chemotherapy. The oropharynx, bilateral neck, and supraclavicular fossae were comprehensively irradiated, and the tongue base received a median external beam dose of 61.2 Gy (50-72 Gy). The primary site was then boosted with an interstitial 192Iridium implant by use of a gold-button single-strand technique and three-dimensional treatment planning. The dose rate was prescribed at 0.4 to 0.5 Gy/hr. The median implant dose was 17.4 Gy (9.6-24 Gy) and adjusted to reach a total dose to the primary tumor of 80 Gy. N2 to 3 disease was managed by a planned neck dissection performed at the time of the implant. The median follow-up for all patients was 56 months, and the overall survival rates were 62% at 5 years and 27% at 10 years. The actuarial primary site control was 78% at 5 years and 70% at 10 years. The overall survival and primary site control were independent of T classification, N status, or overall stage. Systemic therapy was associated with an improvement in overall survival (p = .04) and a trend toward increased primary site control with greater clinical response. There were seven documented late effects, the most frequent being grade 3 osteonecrosis (n = 2), grade 2 swallowing dysfunction (n = 2), trismus (n = 2), and chronic throat pain (n = 1). In an era of greatly improved dose distributions made possible by three-dimensional treatment planning and intensity-modulated radiation therapy, brachytherapy allows a highly conformal dose to be delivered in sites such as the oropharynx. If done properly, the procedure is safe and delivers a dose that is higher than what can be achieved by external beam radiation alone with the expected biologic advantages. The long-term data presented here support an approach of treating advanced tongue base lesions that includes interstitial brachytherapy as part of the overall management plan. This approach has led to a 78% rate of organ preservation at 5 years, with a 5% incidence of significant late morbidity (osteonecrosis) that has required medical management.
Article
To evaluate definitive radiotherapy (RT) for treatment of base of tongue cancer. There were 333 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the base of tongue treated with definitive RT and had follow-up from 0.2 to 26.2 years. Follow-up on living patients ranged from 1.2 to 26.2 years (median, 6.6 years). Local control rates at 5 years were: T1, 98%; T2, 92%; T3, 82%; and T4, 53%. The 5-year rates of local-regional control rates were: I-II, 100%; III, 82%; IVA, 87%; and IVB, 58%. The rates of absolute and cause-specific survival at 5 years were as follows: I-II, 67% and 91%; III, 66% and 77%; IVA, 67% and 84%; and IVB, 33% and 45%. Severe complications developed in 52 patients (16%). Our data and review of the pertinent literature reveal that the local-regional control rates and survival rates after RT were comparable to those after surgery, and the morbidity associated with RT was less.
Definitive radiotherapy with interstitial implant boost for squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue base
  • O Karakoyun-Celik
  • C M Norris
  • Jr
  • R Tishler
  • A Mahadevan
  • J R Clark
  • S Goldberg
  • Harrison LB
  • Friedlander P
Organ preservation therapy using induction plus concurrent chemoradiation for advanced resectable oropharyngeal carcinoma: a University of Pennsylvania Phase II Trial
  • M Machtay
  • D I Rosenthal
  • D Hershock
  • H Jones
  • S Williamson
  • M J Greenberg
  • Penn Cancer
  • Center