Follow-up after curative treatment for oral squamous cell carcinoma. A critical appraisal of the guidelines and a review of the literature

M. T. Brands*, P. A. Brennan, A. L. M. Verbeek, M. A. W. Merkx, S. M. E. Geurts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

The oral cavity is the commonest subsite of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Because of the rising incidence and increasing survival, more patients will be enrolled in a routine follow-up program. This review gives an overview of the evidence and guideline recommendations concerning follow-up after oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). There is limited evidence concerning the effectiveness of follow-up after OSCC. This lack of evidence is reflected in a variation in guideline recommendations with respect to test interval and duration (i.e. for 3-5 years or lifelong). Most studies on the value of routine follow-up after curative treatment include all HNSCC subsites. The available literature shows, that these subsites have a different timing of recurrence and a different risk of second primary tumors at different locations. This leaves no rationale for applying the same follow-up program to each of the HNSCC subsites. There is agreement in the literature that OSCC follow-up can either be discontinued after two or three years or should be lifelong based on the risk of second primary tumors. Many authors advocate a personalized follow-up regimen that is based on the risk of new disease rather than a one-size-fits-all surveillance program. The literature is conflicting about the survival benefits of asymptomatic detection of new disease for HNSCC. To aid the development of evidence-based follow-up advise after OSCC, future research should focus on risk stratification, the value of symptom-free detection of recurrences and the active role that patients might play in determining their own follow-up regimen. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-565
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018

Keywords

  • Oral cancer
  • Follow-up
  • Posttreatment surveillance
  • Head and neck cancer
  • Second primary tumor
  • Recurrence
  • NECK-CANCER PATIENTS
  • UPPER AERODIGESTIVE TRACT
  • 2ND PRIMARY-CANCER
  • POSTTREATMENT SURVEILLANCE
  • SALVAGE SURGERY
  • RECURRENT HEAD
  • PRIMARY TUMORS
  • PROGNOSTIC-FACTORS
  • MALIGNANT-TUMORS
  • CAVITY

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