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  Contents > Previous page > Article detail print Order
o Issue N# 3 - 2013 o

CANCER

Treatment of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of an unknown primary (HNCCUP): Oncologic analysis of 35 cases


Authors : Berta E, Atallah I, Quesada JL, Reyt E, Villa J, Righini CA. (Grenoble)

Ref. : Rev Laryngol Otol Rhinol. 2013;134,3:131-138.

Article published in french
Downloadable PDF document french



Summary : Objective: The aim of our study was to perform an onco­logic analysis of patients treated for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of an unknown primary (HNCCUP). Patients and methods: 35 cases were included in our mono­centric restros­pective study (1999-2010). All patients had a complete clinical exam as well as head, neck and chest CT scans. The pri­­mary tumour remained undetected after panendoscopy 25 patients underwent a routine tonsillar biopsy ipsilateral to the lymphadenopathy. In 9 cases (36%), an invasive squamous cell carcinoma was detected on pathological examination. These patients were excluded from further study. Kaplan-Meier method was used for survival analysis. Univariate and multi­variate analysis were also performed using Cox’s regression model. Results: The therapeutic management of patients’ majority (73%) consisted of lymphadenectomy with frozen section examination which confirmed the presence of an invasive squamous carcinoma in the resected lymph node(s). This was followed by ipsilateral neck dissection and radio­therapy or radiochemotherapy. Patients with unresectable lymph node(s) underwent exclusive radiochemotherapy. Specific survival rates at 1, 3 and 5 years were respectively 77%, 52% and 47%. The median survival time was 3 years. The comparison of univariate and multivariate survival curves confirmed that the lymph node status is an important factor for survival (HR 8.3 [2.03-33.96]). Conclusion: Our results are consistent with those found in the medical literature. HNCCUP has a poor prognosis which correlates with the lymph node status.

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