Extent of salvage neck dissection following chemoradiation for locally advanced head and neck cancer

Head and Neck Cancer

Head Neck. 2020 Oct 1. doi: 10.1002/hed.26494. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Salvage neck dissection (ND) is the only treatment modality for persistent or recurrent nodal disease after chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for locally advanced head and neck cancer. However, the optimal extent of ND at salvage surgery after definitive CRT is controversial.

METHODS: Our salvage ND procedure is targeted extirpation of nodal disease with resection of only involved areas of nonlymphatic structures. A retrospective analysis of the data indicated a total of 28 targeted NDs performed in 28 patients following definitive CRT. The efficacy of targeted ND was evaluated based on survival rate, regional control rate, complications, and shoulder syndromes.

RESULTS: Over a median follow-up period of 30 months, cervical disease recurred in 7 patients but did not lead to death, and 2 patients died of pulmonary metastasis. The 3-year disease-specific survival rate was 66%.

CONCLUSION: The targeted ND procedure was effective as an intervention for patients with cervical disease recurrence (149/150).