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Validation of the Brandwein Gensler Risk Model in Patients of Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma in North India


India has one of the highest incidences of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), with 75,000–80,000 new cases a year. The outcome in early oral cancer is better, but a significant proportion (12–14%) of these patients still relapses and dies due to locoregional or distant recurrences. Several clinicopathological and molecular factors have been used to prognosticate and predict outcomes in these patients of OSCC. The present study aims to validate Brandwein Gensler (BG) risk predictive model in surgically treated OSCC patients in a tertiary care centre in North India. All oral cavity cancer patients, treated in the Department of Surgical Oncology, King George’s Medical University, between 2013 and 2017, were reviewed. Patients with histologically diagnosed OSCC, aged > 18 years undergoing primary surgical resection were included in the study. The final histopathological evaluation was done by a dedicated pathologist to categorize patients according to BG model risk categories. This model comprises of three factors, lymphocytic host response, perineural invasion and worst pattern of invasion, scored by the method described by Brandwein Gensler et al. The sum of these scores is used to define low, moderate and high risk categories. The study, conducted during 2013–2017, included 149 patients. Median age was 45 years (range 25–75 years). Tobacco use was noted in 143 patients. Buccal mucosa was the most common site (51%). Surgical margins were clear (> 5 mm) in 97.9% cases. Postoperative radiotherapy was given in 47.7% patients. Locoregional recurrences (LRR) (primary site and neck) were documented in 17 of the 149 patients (11.4%). There was no synchronous or metachronous distant metastasis noted in any of the study patients. Six patients had disease specific mortality. Among the 17 patients with LRR, majority (11) belonged to the high risk category of the BG risk model. Adjuvant radiotherapy had been administered in 10 of these 11 recurrent patients belonging to the high risk category. The Brandwein Gensler risk model is predictive of locoregional recurrences (p = 0.02) for OSCC undergoing primary surgery. It can be used to devise strategies to prevent recurrences or identification of recurrences at an earlier point for salvage. The benefit of further escalation of adjuvant therapy in the high risk category needs further studies, as 90% patients in this group recurred despite complete adjuvant treatment.

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Correspondence to Kavitha Jain.

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Chaturvedi, A., Husain, N., Misra, S. et al. Validation of the Brandwein Gensler Risk Model in Patients of Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma in North India. Head and Neck Pathol 14, 616–622 (2020).

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  • Oral cavity cancer
  • Risk model
  • Surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Adjuvant