Special Issue

Outcomes of clinico-radiologically advanced cancer (cT4b) of buccal mucosa: a retrospective analysis of 104 patients

26 May 2022
Suvraraj Das, Rajeev Sharan, Anoop Attakkil, Saugata Sen, Kapila Manikantan, Prateek V Jain, Pattatheyil Arun

Although guidelines recommend non-surgical management for cT4b patients, recent studies have shown that upfront surgery in carefully selected patients can be performed with acceptable long-term survival benefit. In this study, we analysed the survival outcome of curative intent treatment on cT4b patients. Data from 104 patients who were staged cT4b and underwent upfront surgery for squamous cell carcinoma of buccal mucosa were retrospectively analysed. Outcome measures were locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS), disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS). The study cohort comprised 104 patients who had a median age of 52.5 years (range 27–81 years) and included 81 males (77.9%). Thirty-six patients had masticator space involvement on final histopathology, designating them as pT4b. Contrast enhanced computed tomography scan demonstrated 91.67% sensitivity in identifying masticator space involvement, albeit with a lower accuracy of 31.7%. Pathologically, clear margins were achieved in 79 (76%) patients. 62 (59.7%) and 20 (19.2%) patients received adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) and adjuvant chemoradiotherapy respectively. 2-year LRFS, DFS and OS were 61.8%, 60% and 68.1%, respectively. On multivariate analyses, involved margins (hazard ratio (HR) 28.766, p = 0.006), pN2b status (HR 4.68, p = 0.027) and perineural invasion (PNI) (HR 3.001, p = 0.027) showed statistically significant impact on LRFS, involved margins (HR 28.859, p = 0.008) and pN2b status (HR 4.018, p = 0.004) affected DFS. Involved margins (HR 14.139, p = 0.023) and pN2b status (HR 3.166, p = 0.025) showed statistically significant impact on OS. In conclusion, upfront surgery is a feasible option for patients with carcinoma of the buccal mucosa with the involvement of the masticator space. Survival outcomes are better in patients where resection is achieved with clear margins, and regional disease is limited to a single cervical lymph node.

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