Long term results of sentinel lymph node biopsy in early oral squamous cell carcinoma
Didier Dequanter, Mohammad Shahla, Pascal Paulus, Philippe Lothaire
Civil Hospital of Charleroi (site Vésale), Montigny le Tilleul, Belgium
Abstract: The objective of the study was to evaluate the long term results of the sentinel node (SN) biopsy technique in the management of the clinically negative (N0) neck in patients with early oral squamous cell carcinoma (T1–T2). Patients with positive SN underwent neck dissection. A sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy was performed on 31 consecutive patients. Six of the 31 patients were upstaged by the results of the SLN biopsy. The SLN biopsy allowed the identification of node metastasis in 100% of the cases with a sensitivity of 100%, specificity of 100%, and negative predictive value of 100%. There was a mean follow-up of 59 months. The neck control rate was 100% in the SLN negative group and two SLN positive patients developed subsequent neck disease (neck control rate of 88%). One SLN patient presented at the follow-up with a second primary tumor, 18 months later treated successfully by chemoradiotherapy. The overall survival rate was 100% in both groups. The promising reported short-term results have been sustained by long term follow-up. Patients with negative SLN achieved an excellent neck control rate. The neck control rate in SN negative patients was superior to that in SLN positive patients, but not statistically different.
Keywords: sentinel lymph node, characteristics of patients, head and neck cancer
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