Long-term outcomes of early stage oral tongue cancer: Main cause of treatment failure and second primary malignancy

Young M. Park, Jae Yol Lim, Yoon W. Koh, Se Heon Kim, Eun C. Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We attempted to investigate the long-term outcomes, prognostic factors, treatment failures, second primary malignancies, and salvage therapies in early (pT1-2N0) oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma (OTSCC). Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 295 early stage OTSCC patients. Results: Two hundred ninety-five patients were enrolled. The average follow-up period was 64.5 months (range, 1–190 months). Five-year recurrence-free survival rate was 84.8% and disease-specific survival rate was 91.2%. On multivariate analysis, only the depth of invasion (DOI) exhibited significant correlations with the disease recurrence. Patient's age and DOI demonstrated a significant association with survival. A total of 53 recurrence and 35 death events occurred, with the main cause of treatment failure being regional or local recurrence. In recurrent cases, the success rate of salvage treatment was 42% at 5 years. During the follow-up period, second primary malignancy occurred in 13 patients, and 8 (61.5%) of those patients were successfully treated. Conclusions: In pT1-2N0 OTSCC, regional or local recurrence is the main recurrence pattern, whereas age and DOI >5 mm are significant prognostic factors related to recurrence and survival. Since several patients experienced second primary malignancies in the head and neck, careful and thorough surveillance may be required to detect second primary lesions. Level of Evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1830-1836
Number of pages7
JournalLaryngoscope investigative otolaryngology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Laryngoscope Investigative Otolaryngology published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of The Triological Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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