International Journal of Clinical Oncology

, Volume 18, Issue 4, pp 578–584 | Cite as

The contribution of neck dissection for residual neck disease after chemoradiotherapy in advanced oropharyngeal and hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients

  • Masahiro Suzuki
  • Daisuke Kawakita
  • Nobuhiro Hanai
  • Hitoshi Hirakawa
  • Taijiro Ozawa
  • Akihiro Terada
  • Koichi Omori
  • Yasuhisa Hasegawa
Original Article



Planned neck dissection after chemoradiotherapy (CRT) has remained controversial in advanced oro- and hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OHSCC) patients. We evaluated the survival contribution of neck dissection (ND) in OHSCC patients with residual nodal disease following CRT.


We retrospectively evaluated 84 OHSCC patients with N2–3 disease treated at Aichi Cancer Center Hospital between 1995 and 2006. ND after CRT was performed for residual neck disease in 36 patients, but not in 48 patients to achieve a complete response. These two groups were analyzed in terms of both overall survival (OS) and regional control (RC), and surgical complications were evaluated.


The 5-year OS was 76.7 % [95 % confidence interval (CI) 58.8–87.6] for the ND group and 73.9 % (58.6–84.3) for the non-ND group (P = 0.883). The 5-year RC was 91.6 % (76.1–97.2) for the ND group and 81.1 % (65.4–90.2) for the non-ND group (P = 0.252). Stratified by primary tumor site, the 5-year RC was 96.3 % (76.5–99.5) for the ND group, and 78.6 % (58.0–89.9) for the non-ND group (P = 0.072) in oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients, and 77.8 % (36.5–93.9) for the ND group and 85.9 % (54.0–96.3) for the non-ND group (P = 0.541) in hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma patients. In addition, the complications after ND were tolerable.


We demonstrated that ND was feasible, safe, and correlated with clinical outcomes in OHSCC patients with residual nodal disease after CRT.


Head and neck cancer Chemoradiotherapy Neck dissection Survival 



The authors gratefully acknowledge the energy and contribution of the doctors, nurses, and hospital administration staff at the Aichi Cancer Center Hospital. This study was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Cancer Research and a Health and Labour Sciences Research Grant from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan.

Conflict of interest

The authors have declared no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Japan Society of Clinical Oncology 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masahiro Suzuki
    • 1
  • Daisuke Kawakita
    • 2
  • Nobuhiro Hanai
    • 3
  • Hitoshi Hirakawa
    • 3
  • Taijiro Ozawa
    • 3
  • Akihiro Terada
    • 4
  • Koichi Omori
    • 1
  • Yasuhisa Hasegawa
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck SurgeryFukushima Medical University Graduate School of MedicineFukushimaJapan
  2. 2.Division of Epidemiology and PreventionAichi Cancer Center Research InstituteNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Head and Neck SurgeryAichi Cancer Center HospitalNagoyaJapan
  4. 4.Department of OtorhinolaryngologyJapanese Red Cross Nagoya Daiichi HospitalNagoyaJapan

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