We reviewed 86 patients with oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma who were initially treated with curative intent in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Keio University School of Medicine between 1996 and 2007. Statistical analysis was performed to examine the prognostic value of the clinical features. Eighty patients underwent surgery and six underwent radiotherapy as the initial treatment. The five-year disease-free survival (DFS) rates determined by the Kaplan-Meier method were as follows: 75.8% in all stages, 88.7% in stage I (n = 30), 82.6% in stage II (n = 24), 77.1% in stage III (n = 14), and 39.7% in stage IV (n = 18). Univariate analysis demonstrated that stage III/IV, T 3/4, and N2 were significantly correlated with poor prognosis, whereas multivariate analysis showed that only N2 was independently correlated with poor prognosis. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NAC) was applied for 24 patients. Although the DFS of the responders (CR+PR) was higher than that of the non-responders (NC+PD), the difference was not significant. Among 80 patients who received surgical treatment initially, neck dissection (ND) was performed in 42 patients. Five-year DFS was significantly higher in the patients with no or single node metastasis than in the patients with multiple node metastases (93.8% vs. 32.7%). These outcomes suggest that more aggressive postoperative therapy should be recommended for patients found to have pathologically multiple positive nodes.
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