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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 24-27

Stage migration in head-and-neck cancers due to extranodal extension: Clinical experience from a tertiary care centre

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India
2 Department of Radiation Oncology, Maharshi Markandeshwar Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Ambala, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rajesh Pasricha
Department of Radiation Oncology, Vth Floor, Collage Building, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JME.JME_76_20

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Background: Extranodal extension (ENE) has been included as a factor for the staging of head-and-neck cancer (HNC) considering its prognostic value. Aim: The present study aimed to find out the percentage of patients with HNC getting upstaged because of ENE and their treatment outcome. Patients and Methods: A retrospective analysis of all patients with HNC registered in the Department of Radiation Oncology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, India, between January 2018 and January 2019. American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) criteria were used for defining clinical and radiological ENE. The site, subsite, stage and presence of ENE were documented. The clinical outcome of all these patients was collected and analysed. Results: A total of 562 patients were registered with HNC. Among them 45 patients were identified to have ENE (8%). The majority of the cases were oral cavity (44.4%) and oropharyngeal tumours (26.8%). Thirty-three patients had clinically documented ENE and 11 were radiological and one patient had pathological ENE. Among those who got upstaged to N3b disease due to ENE, 29 patients (64.4%) had N2 disease as per the 7th edition AJCC. When stage grouping was considered, 28 patients (62.2%) who got upstaged had stage Isovaleric acidaemia (IVA) disease as per the AJCC 7th Edition. Twelve patients were treated with radical intent and 16 received palliative treatment and rest did not complete the treatment or defaulted. Overall, the outcomes of these patients remained poor. Conclusion: A significant proportion of HNC patients got upstaged when ENE was included in the staging. Patients with ENE had a poor prognosis irrespective of the treatment modality.

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