Early tongue carcinoma: Analysis of failure

Michal Preis, Tuvia Hadar, Ethan Soudry, Thomas Shpitzer, Yulia Strenov, Roy Hod, Ben I. Nageris, Raphael Feinmesser*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Failure rate of surgery for early tongue carcinoma remains high. We sought to identify patterns of failure and recurrence risk factors. Methods Data review was carried out on 50 patients treated for early tongue carcinoma (T1/2N0M0); surgery was unsuccessful in 11 of these patients. All patients underwent transoral resection of the tongue tumor and prophylactic neck dissection (supraomohyoid). Results Tumor recurred within 3 to 18 months. Nine died of disease. Four had failure in neck level 4, 6 in level 1, and 1 simultaneously in level 1 and locally. Most tumors were moderately differentiated. Average depth was 6.64 mm. Conclusions We report 11 patients with early tongue carcinoma who failed local excision with neck dissection. Failures occurred in level 4 (4 patients) and level 1 (7 patients). This group may benefit from extended neck surgery. Sex, age, stage, and depth of tumor were not significantly different in the group with treatment failure. Tumors in the group with treatment failure were more poorly differentiated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-421
Number of pages4
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • early tongue carcinoma
  • in-continuity
  • neck dissection
  • recurrence
  • tumor depth


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