Impact of submandibular gland preservation in neck managemen
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The feasibility of submandibular gland (SMG) preservation in oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) has occasionally been analyzed. Researchers aimed to prospectively evaluate the oncologic results of SMG preservation in cT1-2 N0 buccal SCC.

This was a prospective, non-randomized cohort study. Patients with surgically treated cT1-2 N0 buccal SCC were prospectively enrolled and divided into two groups based on the management of the SMG. Level 1b lymph nodes were categorized into six groups based on the positional relationship between the lymph node and the SMG. The main study endpoints were locoregional control (LRC) and disease-specific survival (DSS).

A total of 31 of the 137 included patients underwent SMG-sparing neck dissection. Patients with SMG preservation were likely to be young persons. Superior metastasis occurred in 11 patients with a prevalence of 8.0%, followed by an anterior metastasis rate of 5.1%, and no metastases developed deeply or within the SMG. The 5-year LRC rates in the SMG-sparing and SMG-excision groups were 74 and 75%, respectively, and the difference was not significant. The 5-year DSS rates in the SMG-sparing and SMG-excision groups were 74 and 69%, respectively, and the difference was not significant.

SMG involvement was rare, and the superior group carried the highest risk for lymph node metastasis. SMG-sparing neck dissection is selectively suggested in cT1-2 N0 buccal SCC patients, and could avoid postoperative asymmetric appearance and dry mouth.

Source: https://bmccancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12885-020-07534-5
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