Contralateral Neck Irradiation Can Be Omitted for Selected Lateralized Oral Cancer in Locally Advanced Stage

Yung Jen Cheng, Hsin Ying Lin, Mu Hung Tsai, Tzu Hui Pao, Chia Hsiang Hsu, Yuan Hua Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


(1) Background: To investigate the contralateral neck failure (cRF) rates and outcomes among patients with well-lateralized locally advanced oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) with/without ipsilateral or bilateral neck adjuvant irradiation. (2) Methods: Patients with lateralized OSCC diagnosed between 2007 and 2017 were retrospectively enrolled. Patients who had undergone curative surgery with pathologically proven pT3/4 or pN0-2b without distant metastasis were included, while those with cross-midline, neck-level 1a involvement and positive extra-nodal extension (ENE) were excluded. The primary endpoint was the cumulative incidence of 5-year cRF as the first site of failure. The secondary endpoints included cancer-specific survival (CSS), local-regional recurrence-free survival (LRRFS), distant-metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and contralateral-regional recurrence-free survival (cRRFS). (3) Results: In total, 149 patients were analyzed with a median follow-up time of 5.2 years (range, 2.91–7.83). Pathological stages T3 and T4 were 22.7% and 56.8%, respectively. Pathologically negative and positive lymph nodes were 61.4% and 38.6%, respectively. The cumulative 5-year cRF rate was 3.6% (95% CI, 1.3–7.7%). No significant differences in the 5-year CSS, LRRFS, DMFS, and cRRFS were observed among those undergoing unilateral or bilateral neck irradiation. Five patients (3.4%) had contralateral neck recurrence, all simultaneously with local recurrence. No isolated contralateral neck recurrence was identified. (4) Conclusions: The cRF rate was acceptably low in patients with well-lateralized advanced OSCC with the initially uninvolved contralateral neck. Omitting contralateral neck irradiation with active surveillance could be considered without compromising the cure rate in locally advanced OSCC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6956-6967
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Oncology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology


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