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Annals of Surgical Oncology

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A Multicenter Retrospective Study of Elective Neck Dissection for T1-2N0M0 Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Analysis Using Propensity Score-Matching

Mitsunobu Otsuru DDS, PhD, Yoshihide Ota DDS, PhD, Souichi Yanamoto DDS, PhD, Masaya Okura DDS, PhD, Masahiro Umeda DDS, PhD, Tadaaki Kirita DDS, PhD, Hiroshi Kurita DDS, PhD, Michihiro Ueda DDS, PhD, Takahide Komori DDS, PhD, Nobuhiro Yamakawa DDS, PhD, Takahiro Kamata DDS, PhD, Takumi Hasegawa DDS, PhD, Takahiko Shibahara DDS, PhD, Youichi Ohiro DDS, PhD, Yoshihiro Yamashita DDS, PhD, Kazuma Nog
Head and Neck Oncology
Volume 26, Issue 2 / February , 2019



This multicenter retrospective study aimed to determine whether elective neck dissection (END) can be performed for T1-2N0M0 tongue cancer.


Patients with T1-2N0M0 tongue squamous cell carcinoma who received treatment between January 2000 and December 2012 were enrolled at 14 multicenter study sites. The 5-year overall survival (OS) and 5-year disease-specific survival (DSS) were compared between the propensity score-matched END and observation (OBS) groups.


The results showed that the OS rates among the 1234 enrolled patients were 85.5% in the END group and 90.2% in the OBS group (P = 0.182). The DSS rates were 87.0% in the END group and 94.3% in the OBS group (P = 0.003). Among the matched patients, the OS rates were 87.1% in the END group and 76.2% in the OBS group (P = 0.0051), and the respective DSS rates were 89.2% and 82.2% (P = 0.0335).


This study showed that END is beneficial for T1-2N0M0 tongue cancer. However, END should be performed for patients with a tumor depth of 4–5 mm or more, which is the depth associated with a high rate of lymph node metastasis. The use of END should be carefully considered for both elderly and young patients.

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