BACKGROUND: Neck management after radiotherapy remains controversial. It is not clear which patients may benefit from postradiotherapy neck dissection. Biologic markers may be useful in this setting. METHOD: This study includes 81 patients with oral cavity and oropharyngeal carcinomas. The primary tumor had been treated with radical radiotherapy. Immunohistochemical staining to p53, ki-67, NEU, HSP-27, and GST has been performed. RESULTS: There were 50 T1-2 and 31 T3-4 patients, as well as 36 NO and 45 N1-3. A total of 25 nodal failures was observed. With expressed HSP2, 23% of patients had neck failure compared with 51% when HSP-27 was absent (p = .02). With NEU overexpression, nodal control decreased from 72% to 34% (p = .008). In a Cox model, NEU (p = .01) and HSP-27 (p = .05) were associated with neck failure. CONCLUSIONS: HSP-27 and NEU expression may play a role in predicting nodal failure. This should be confirmed in a larger, prospective study.
PMID: 11303638 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]