Tumor Biology

, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 3489–3496 | Cite as

Facial lymph node involvement as a prognostic factor for patient survival in oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma

  • Li XieEmail author
  • Xiao Zhou
  • Wenxiao Huang
  • Jie Chen
  • Jianjun Yu
  • Zan Li
Original Article


To investigate the incidence of metastasis to facial lymph nodes (FLNs) and to determine its impact on the prognosis and survival of patients at onset of oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). A retrospective review of 641 patients with OSCC treated with curative surgery (CS) alone or CS + postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) was performed. Based on FLN status, an analysis of clinicopathologic parameters, prognosis, and survival was conducted. By classifying patients according to FLN status, a reasonable treatment modality was identified in the low-risk group, which was defined as those who had N0–1 disease, negative margin, and no extracapsular nodal spread (ENS). FLN involvement was identified in 103 patients (16 %), which showed statistically significant associations with several established risk factors and negatively affected local controls (P < 0.001), neck controls (P < 0.001), and disease-specific survival (P < 0.001). Compared to CS alone, CS + PORT increased the 5-year neck control rate (76.8 vs. 30.7 %, P = 0.006) and disease-specific survival rate (67.8 vs. 30.7 %, P = 0.037) of the OSCC patients with FLN metastasis in the low-risk group. Metastasis to FLNs is strongly associated with poor disease control and lower survival rate of OSCC patients. PORT minimized the residual risk of involved FLN in the low-risk group.


Facial lymph node Oral squamous cell carcinoma Neck dissection Surgery Postoperative radiotherapy 



This study was supported by the Science & Technology support program from Hunan Provincial Science & Technology Department (No. 2013SK3204), as well as the program from the Health Department of Hunan Province (No. B2013-091) and Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars from Hunan Cancer Hospital (No. A2011-04).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Head & Neck Surgery Hunan Cancer Hospital & The Affiliated Cancer Hospital of Xiangya School of Medicine, Central South UniversityChangshaChina

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