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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2000 Sep;109(9):844-8.

Postoperative radiotherapy in patients with positive nodes after functional neck dissection.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, La Paz Hospital, Autonomous University, Madrid, Spain.


A study was designed to assess the usefulness of postoperative radiotherapy (RT) in patients with surgically treated laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer with histologically proven positive neck nodes. Patients underwent operation between 1984 and 1995, with functional neck dissection (FND) being part of the treatment in all cases. The selection criteria included squamous cell carcinoma, negative margins for the primary tumor, and no previous treatment. For evaluation purposes, patients were divided into 2 groups: surgery alone versus surgery with postoperative RT. Eighty-three patients fulfilled the inclusion criteria and entered the study. All but 1 of the patients were men. The mean age was 58 years (range, 35 to 77 years). A multivariate analysis was used to analyze the prognostic parameters selected by univariate analysis, eg, age, alcohol, tumor location, T and N stages, and presence or absence of extracapsular spread and a desmoplastic pattern. Postoperative RT was not selected by univariate analysis as a prognostic factor, but was included in the multivariate analysis in order to assess its impact on survival and recurrence rates. Using the statistical method of multivariate analysis, we could not find evidence of a benefit to survival or local recurrence rates with postoperative RT in this series. Patients younger than 55 years and those with extracapsular spread had a decreased survival rate and a higher neck recurrence rate, irrespective of the treatment method.

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