Outcomes for recurrent oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma

Kevin J. Contrera, Mark E. Zafereo, Dan Yaniv, Diane B. Roberts, Ann M. Gillenwater, Ehab Y. Hanna, Randal S. Weber, Jeffrey N. Myers, Edward I. Chang, Patrick B. Garvey, Matthew M. Hanasono, Peirong Yu, Katherine A. Hutcheson, Clifton D. Fuller, Matthew A. Tyler, David M. Neskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: We sought to determine overall survival (OS), prognostic factors, cost, and functional outcomes after surgery for locally recurrent oral cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC). Materials and Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 399 cases of locally recurrent OCSCC from 1997 to 2011, of which 259 patients were treated with salvage surgery. Survival and prognostic factors were evaluated using univariable and multivariable Cox regression, the Kaplan-Meier method, and the log-rank test. Results: The 5-year OS for patients undergoing surgical salvage, nonsurgical therapy, or supportive care was 44.2%, 1.5%, and 0%, respectively. For patients who underwent surgical salvage, 133 (51%) patients experienced a second recurrence at a median of 17 months. Factors associated with OS included disease-free interval ≤ 6 months (P =.0001), recurrent stage III-IV disease (P <.0001), and prior radiation (P =.0001). Patients with both advanced stage and prior radiation had a 23% 5-year OS, compared with 70% for those with neither risk (P <.001). Functionally, 85% of patients had > 80% speech intelligibility and 81% were able to eat by mouth following salvage surgery. Of the patients who required tracheostomy, 78% were decannulated. The adjusted median hospital and professional charges for patients were $129,696 (range $9,238-$956,818). Conclusions: Patients with recurrent OCSCC who underwent salvage surgery have favorable functional outcomes with half of alive at 5 years but poorer OS for advanced disease, disease-free interval ≤ 6 months, and prior radiation. Additionally, treatment is associated with high cost, and about half of patients ultimately develop another recurrence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106127
JournalOral Oncology
StatePublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Editorial support was provided by Bryan Tutt, Scientific Editor, Research Medical Library.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022


  • Complications
  • Cost
  • Functional outcomes
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Oral cavity
  • Salvage surgery
  • Speech
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Survival
  • Swallowing

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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