Outcome of treatment for advanced cervical metastatic squamous cell carcinoma

Jonathan Clark, Wei Li, Graham Smith, Kerwin Shannon, Anthony Clifford, Ed McNeil, Kan Gao, Michael Jackson, Mo Mo Tin, Christopher O'Brien*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Patients with advanced cervical metastases from mucosal squamous cell carcinoma have a poor prognosis because of their high risk of regional and distal failure. This study aims to evaluate the outcomes of patients with clinical N2 or N3 disease managed with surgery and postoperative radiotherapy. Methods. From a comprehensive computerized database, 181 entered patients who had neck dissection for N2 or N3 disease between 1988 and 1999 were evaluated. The mean age was 62 years, and minimum follow-up was 3 years. Results. A total of 233 neck dissections were performed in 181 patients, including 163 comprehensive and 70 selective dissections. Postoperative radiotherapy was given in 82% of cases. The local control rate was 75% at 5 years, and control of disease in the treated neck was achieved in 86%. Macroscopic extracapsular spread (ECS) significantly increased regional recurrence (p = .001). Adjuvant radiotherapy significantly improved neck control (p = .004) but did not alter survival. Patients with ECS (both microscopic and macroscopic) who received radiotherapy had a significantly better survival than did patients with ECS who did not receive radiotherapy. Disease-specific survival for the entire group was 39% at 5 years. By use of multivariate analysis, macroscopic ECS and N2c neck disease were independent adverse prognostic factors for survival (p = .001). Conclusions. Despite a high rate of control in the treated neck, the poor survival (39%) in this patient group indicates that adjuvant therapeutic strategies need to be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-94
Number of pages8
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Advanced neck
  • Cervical
  • Metastatic
  • Neck dissection
  • Post-operative radiotherapy
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

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