Head and Neck Oncology

Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 497-504

First online:

Feasibility of Preservation of the Submandibular Gland During Neck Dissection in Patients With Early-Stage Oral Cancer

  • Tseng-Cheng ChenAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University HospitalNational Taiwan University College of MedicineDepartment of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University Hospital Yun-Lin Branch
  • , Pei-Jen LouAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University HospitalNational Taiwan University College of Medicine
  • , Jenq-Yuh KoAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University HospitalNational Taiwan University College of Medicine
  • , Tsung-Lin YangAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University HospitalNational Taiwan University College of MedicineInstitute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Medicine and College of Engineering, National Taiwan University
  • , Wu-Chia LoAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, Far Eastern Memorial Hospital
  • , Ya-Ling HuAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University HospitalNational Taiwan University College of MedicineSchool of Nursing, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University
  • , Cheng-Ping WangAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, National Taiwan University HospitalNational Taiwan University College of MedicineInstitute of Biomedical Engineering, College of Medicine and College of Engineering, National Taiwan University Email author 

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Abstract

Background

The impact of submandibular gland (SMG) preservation during neck dissection on the survival of patients with early-stage oral squamous-cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains undocumented.

Methods

The medical records of all patients with early-stage OSCC (stage I and II) who underwent wide excision of the primary tumor and simultaneous neck dissection between 1999 and 2006 at our facility were retrospectively reviewed.

Results

We analyzed 408 patients, including 33 patients with and 375 patients without SMG preservation. The 5-year disease-free and overall survival rates were 78.8% and 90.9% for the patients with SMG preservation and 75.4% and 90.4% for the patients without SMG preservation, and these differences were not statistically significant (P = 0.79, P = 0.99, respectively). Similar survival rates between patients with and without SMG preservation were observed in those with oral tongue squamous-cell carcinoma (SCC) and with buccal SCC. Patients with T2 OSCC with SMG preservation had significantly lower 5-year disease-free survival rate than those without SMG preservation (P = 0.02), but overall survival rates were similar between these two groups.

Conclusions

Preservation of the SMG during neck dissection may be oncologically safe in patients with T1 OSCC, but the feasibility of SMG preservation seems less clear for T2 OSCC.