Synchronous malignancies in patients with squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity

  • Feng-Yuan Liu
  • Chun-Ta Liao
  • Tzu-Chen Yen
Original Article



Synchronous malignancies in patients with squamous cell carcinomas of the oral cavity (OCSCC) are occasionally encountered. In the current study we tried to evaluate their frequency, detectability by 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) studies, and prognostic factors.


A retrospective analysis of patients with primary OCSCC enrolled for 18F-FDG studies from 2002 to 2008 was performed. The detectability of synchronous second cancers by 18F-FDG studies was defined by the scoring of two interpreters. Prognostic factors for overall survival in patients receiving curative-intent treatment were assessed using the univariate Kaplan-Mayer analysis and the multivariate Cox regression model.


Of 764 patients, 40 (5.2%) had synchronous malignancies. 18F-FDG studies detected 22 (48%) of 46 synchronous second cancers. For synchronous cancers at the hypopharynx, esophagus, or liver, the median survival of patients was no longer than 1 year, and the detection rates by 18F-FDG studies were 100, 86, and 25%, respectively. In the 33 patients receiving curative-intent treatment, the site of second cancer, complete surgical resection of all known tumors, and the oral habit of betel quid/areca nut chewing are significant prognostic factors in the univariate analysis, while the site of second cancer is the only significant prognostic factor in the multivariate analysis (p = 0.041).


The site of second cancer is the most significant prognostic factor in OCSCC patients with synchronous malignancies receiving curative-intent treatment. 18F-FDG studies detect synchronous malignancies with poor prognosis in OCSCC patients except for hepatic cancers. In OCSCC patients with synchronous malignancies with poor prognosis, prospective studies comparing different treatment options should be further conducted.


Oral cavity cancer Squamous cell carcinoma Synchronous malignancy 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose Positron emission tomography Prognosis 



We thank all the members of the cross-disciplinary team for head and neck cancers in our institution for their devotion and help.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Nuclear MedicineChang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of MedicineChiayiTaiwan
  2. 2.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck SurgeryChang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of MedicineTaoyuanTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging CenterChang Gung Memorial Hospital, Chang Gung University College of MedicineTaoyuan CountyTaiwan

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