Correlation between the duration of locoregional control and survival in T1–T2 oropharyngeal cancer patients

  • Alexandre Caula
  • Marc Boukhris
  • Joanne Guerlain
  • Yungan Tao
  • Ingrid Breuskin
  • Haitham Mirghani
  • Stéphane Temam
  • Philippe GorpheEmail author
Head & Neck



To investigate the correlation between the time to locoregional recurrence and survival in T1–T2 oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinoma (OPSCC) patients.


A retrospective, single-site study of patients with T1–T2 OPSCC treated with curative intent between 2000 and 2015 who had a locoregional recurrence without distant metastases. Patients without a disease-free interval (i.e., persistent macroscopic disease after the end of treatment and a time to locoregional recurrence of less than 3 months) were excluded. The endpoint considered was overall survival (OS).


Out of 602 T1–T2 OPSCC patients, 121 patients had a locoregional recurrence and they were, hence, analyzed. All of the patients were heavy-smokers, with a consumption of more than 20 pack-years. The recurrence was local in 59.5%, regional in 27.3%, and both local and regional in 13.2% of the patients. The median time to locoregional recurrence and median OS was 15 months and 44 months, respectively. The time to locoregional recurrence was correlated with OS (p < 0.0001). In multivariate analyses, factors associated with survival were an initial N0–N2a versus N2b–N3 nodal staging and a 12-month threshold for the time to locoregional recurrence.


Locoregional control in T1–T2 OPSCC is not only a qualitative prognostic factor but also a quantitative prognostic factor of survival. A time to locoregional recurrence of less than 12 months was correlated with an unfavorable prognosis.


Oropharyngeal neoplasms Locoregional recurrence Disease-free interval Survival 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Formal consent for participation has been given by patients.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Gustave Roussy InstituteUniversité Paris-SaclayVillejuifFrance
  2. 2.Department of Radiotherapy, Gustave Roussy InstituteUniversité Paris-SaclayVillejuifFrance

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