Objective: It is well known that mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) displays a variety of biological behaviors. While the high-grade type is a highly aggressive tumor, its low-grade counterpart usually demonstrates a more benign nature and several systems have, therefore, been proposed to grade this neoplasm. Methods: This report analyzes 43 patients suffering from head and neck MEC, who were treated in our department during the period from 1989 to 2005. The relationship between clinical and pathologic characteristics and survival rate was investigated. Results: The 5-year overall and disease-free survival rate was 62.3 and 57.2%. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that the parameters that significantly affected survival were the patient's age (P = 0.040) and treatment method (P = 0.011). Conclusions: The patient's age and treatment method is the prognostic parameter in this study. Although complete surgical resection is the standard treatment for MEC, we should aggressively consider adjunctive radiotherapy in those cases that have a high risk of recurrence and poor prognosis.
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