Lymph node metastasis in maxillary sinus carcinoma INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF RADIATION ONCOLOGY BIOLOGY PHYSICS Le, Q. T., Fu, K. K., Kaplan, M. J., Terris, D. J., Fee, W. E., Goffinet, D. R. 2000; 46 (3): 541-549


To evaluate the incidence and prognostic significance of lymph node metastasis in maxillary sinus carcinoma.We reviewed the records of 97 patients treated for maxillary sinus carcinoma with radiotherapy at Stanford University and at the University of California, San Francisco between 1959 and 1996. Fifty-eight patients had squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), 4 had adenocarcinoma (ADE), 16 had undifferentiated carcinoma (UC), and 19 had adenoid cystic carcinoma (AC). Eight patients had T2, 36 had T3, and 53 had T4 tumors according to the 1997 AJCC staging system. Eleven patients had nodal involvement at diagnosis: 9 with SCC, 1 with UC, and 1 with AC. The most common sites of nodal involvement were ipsilateral level 1 and 2 lymph nodes. Thirty-six patients were treated with definitive radiotherapy alone, and 61 received a combination of surgical and radiation treatment. Thirty-six patients had neck irradiation, 25 of whom received elective neck irradiation (ENI) for N0 necks. The median follow-up for alive patients was 78 months.The median survival for all patients was 22 months (range: 2.4-356 months). The 5- and 10-year actuarial survivals were 34% and 31%, respectively. Ten patients relapsed in the neck, with a 5-year actuarial risk of nodal relapse of 12%. The 5-year risk of neck relapse was 14% for SCC, 25% for ADE, and 7% for both UC and ACC. The overall risk of nodal involvement at either diagnosis or on follow-up was 28% for SCC, 25% for ADE, 12% for UC, and 10% for AC. All patients with nodal involvement had T3-4, and none had T2 tumors. ENI effectively prevented nodal relapse in patients with SCC and N0 neck; the 5-year actuarial risk of nodal relapse was 20% for patients without ENI and 0% for those with elective neck therapy. There was no correlation between neck relapse and primary tumor control or tumor extension into areas containing a rich lymphatic network. The most common sites of nodal relapse were in the ipsilateral level 1-2 nodal regions (11/13). Patients with nodal relapse had a significantly higher risk of distant metastasis on both univariate (p = 0.02) and multivariate analysis (hazard ratio = 4.5, p = 0.006). The 5-year actuarial risk of distant relapse was 29% for patients with neck control versus 81% for patients with neck failure. There was also a trend for decreased survival with nodal relapse. The 5-year actuarial survival was 37% for patients with neck control and 0% for patients with neck relapse.The overall incidence of lymph node involvement at diagnosis in patients with maxillary sinus carcinoma was 9%. Following treatment, the 5-year risk of nodal relapse was 12%. SCC histology was associated with a high incidence of initial nodal involvement and nodal relapse. None of the patients presenting with SCC histology and N0 necks had nodal relapse after elective neck irradiation. Patients who had nodal relapse had a higher risk of distant metastasis and poorer survival. Therefore, our present policy is to consider elective neck irradiation in patients with T3-4 SCC of the maxillary sinus.

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