Issue N# 3 - 2013
Treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of an unknown primary (HNCCUP): Oncologic analysis of 35 cases
Authors : Berta E, Atallah I, Quesada JL, Reyt E, Villa J, Righini CA. (Grenoble)
Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2013;134,3:131-138.
Article published in french
Downloadable PDF document french
Objective: The aim of our study was to perform an oncologic analysis of patients treated for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of an unknown primary (HNCCUP). Patients and methods: 35 cases were included in our monocentric restrospective study (1999-2010). All patients had a complete clinical exam as well as head, neck and chest CT scans. The primary tumour remained undetected after panendoscopy 25 patients underwent a routine tonsillar biopsy ipsilateral to the lymphadenopathy. In 9 cases (36%), an invasive squamous cell carcinoma was detected on pathological examination. These patients were excluded from further study. Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis. Univariate and multivariate analysis were also performed using Cox’s regression model. Results: The therapeutic management of patients’ majority (73%) consisted of lymphadenectomy with frozen section examination which confirmed the presence of an invasive squamous carcinoma in the resected lymph node(s). This was followed by ipsilateral neck dissection and radiotherapy or radiochemotherapy. Patients with unresectable lymph node(s) underwent exclusive radiochemotherapy. Specific survival rates at 1, 3 and 5 years were respectively 77%, 52% and 47%. The median survival time was 3 years. The comparison of univariate and multivariate survival curves confirmed that the lymph node status is an important factor for survival (HR 8.3 [2.03-33.96]). Conclusion: Our results are consistent with those found in the medical literature. HNCCUP has a poor prognosis which correlates with the lymph node status.
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