The objective of the article is to study the prognostic indicators of loco-regional failure in patients with early stage cancers of the gingivobuccal complex (GBC) treated at a single institution. The study design is based on retrospective chart review. A review of 2,275 patients diagnosed with GBC was conducted from January 1997 to December 1999, wherein 207 patients who fulfilled our inclusion criteria were analyzed. Univariate analysis, multivariate analysis, and disease-free survival are reported. During a median follow-up of 2.85 years there were 85 (43%) loco-regional failures of which 64% could be salvaged. As much as 80% of all failures occurred within the first 24 months and the mean survival for patients with recurrences was 9.6 months. Two and five-year disease-free survival for the entire cohort was 65% and 52%, respectively. Nodal metastasis, soft tissue infiltration, and pathological bone involvement correlated with poor disease-free survival on multivariate analysis. Early stage tumors of the GBC as evaluated clinically are often upstaged pathologically due to a high rate of occult nodal metastasis and local failure as they tend to invade bone and infiltrate adjacent soft tissue. Consequently, we recommend aggressive surgical therapy as we would recommend for advanced stage cancers of the GBC which includes a wide three-dimensional resection to account for soft tissue and bony infiltrations and adjuvant therapy in the presence of adverse features since salvage rates for recurrent tumors are poor.
Gingivobuccal complex Oral cancer Prognostic factors Squamous cell carcinoma Early stage tumors
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The authors would like to thank Mr. Gopu Natarajan, Department of Medical Records, Tata Memorial Hospital, for his efforts and support.
Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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