Patients with advanced, non-metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma experience similar outcomes when treated with either primary surgery or concurrent chemotherapy and radiotherapy (CRRT), according to a recent study published in Cancer.
However, patients with cancers of the oral cavity or maxillary sinus should consider primary surgery as the main treatment modality.
Narayanan Gopalakrishna Iyer, PhD, MBBS, and colleagues at the National Cancer Centre in Singapore examined 119 patients with stage ¾ resectable head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, with 60 who had undergone primary surgery and 59 who were adminstered CRRT. Median follow-up for surviving patients was 13 years.
They found no statistically significant difference in overall survival or disease-specific survival in either group when analyzing the entire cohort.
For patients with cancer of the oral cavity or maxillary sinus, however, survival was significantly better in those who had undergone primary surgery.
“These long-term results demonstrate a significant advantage for primary surgery in patients with cancers of the oral cavity or maxillary sinus,” the authors concluded.