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The impact of nodal status in major salivary gland carcinoma: Amulticenter experience and proposal of a novel N-classification

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

OBJECTIVES: Despite differences in oncological behavior, the 8th edition of AJCC TNM staging currently proposes the same N-classification for major salivary glands (MSG) carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract. The present study aims to investigate a more reliable definition of N-categories for MSG carcinoma. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective multicenter study was performed, including 307 patients treated for primary MSG carcinoma from 1995 to 2019. Outcome measures included overall survival (OS), disease specific survival, and local, regional, and distant recurrence. Survival analysis was performed using log-rank test and Cox proportional-hazards model. Overall number (ON) and largest diameter (LD) of nodal metastases, including intra-parotid metastases, were considered to develop three novel proposals of N-classification; their performance were compared with the current TNM staging using Akaike information criterion (AIC), Bayesian information criterion (BIC), and Nagelkerke pseudo-R2. RESULTS: Intra-parotid nodes, ON and LD of nodal metastases emerged as major prognosticators for OS, while extra-nodal extension did not impact on any survival. The current N-classification did not show a satisfactory OS stratification. Three novel N-classifications were developed according to number of metastatic nodes (0 vs 1-3 vs ≥ 4) and/or their maximum diameter (<20 mm vs ≥ 20 mm). They all showed better accuracy in OS stratification, and achieved better AIC, BIC and Nagelkerke pseudo-R2 indices when compared to current N-classification. CONCLUSION: All the proposed N-classifications improved OS stratification and could help in defining a specific N-classification for MSG carcinoma. Their validation and assessment in an external cohort is needed.
Journal: Oral Oncology
ISSN: 1368-8375
Volume: 112
Number of pages: 9
Publication year:2021