The Management of Maxillary Squamous Cell Carcinoma―A Retrospective Study


Introduction: Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the predominant neoplastic tumor that occurs in the oral cavity. SCC arising from the maxillary gingiva, hard palate and maxillary alveolus is relatively rare. Since soft tissue barrier is thin, the diagnosis of cancer in these regions is usually ulcerative and invasive to the underlying bone already in the early stages of the disease. The aim of the present study was to retrospectively evaluate our data regarding the management of loco-regional lymph nodes and the efficacy of neck dissection in the clinically negative neck when maxillary squamous cell carcinoma is diagnosed. Furthermore, we wish to establish the role of prophylactic neck dissection and T stage from which it should be implemented. Methods: Archival records of oncological patients that were treated for SCC of the maxillary alveolus, hard palate and gingiva were collected. Overall 20 patients met the inclusion criteria, 11 men and 9 women. Average age of first diagnosis was 68 years. Results: At initial examination, 2 patients (10%) had clinically positive lymph nodes and undergone therapeutic neck dissection. The remaining 18 patients had clinically N0 necks. Five patients (28%) had occult positive lymph nodes following prophylactic neck dissection. One of the patients had a primary resection with no neck treatment. This patient eventually developed metastases in the neck two month post-surgery (occult disease). The overall positive lymph nodes in maxillary squamous cell carcinoma were 40% (8/20) with an occult metastasis rate of 33% (6/18). Disease specific mortality was 45% (9/20). Conclusion: In the present study, the majority of patients that were diagnosed with occult metastatic disease were either large tumors (T4, 60%) or with moderate to poor differentiation (mood-poor 80%). We conclude that patients who are present with a high grade (moderate-poor) large or invasive maxillary SCC (T2-T4), a prophylactic selective neck dissection (levels I-III) should be performed.

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Leiser, Y. , Yudovich, K. , Barak, M. and El Naaj, I. (2014) The Management of Maxillary Squamous Cell Carcinoma―A Retrospective Study. Journal of Cancer Therapy, 5, 1065-1071. doi: 10.4236/jct.2014.512112.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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