The 8th edition of American Joint Committee on Cancer’s (AJCC) Cancer Staging Manual was modified by incorporating depth of invasion (DOI) in the T categorization of oral cavity cancer. This is because DOI is strongly associated with cervical lymph node metastasis, which is the most important negative prognostic factor of oral cavity cancer. This major change in the AJCC Cancer Staging Manual caused re-staging of T category in several cases. Although, the DOI on MRI and CT (radiological DOI; r-DOI) strongly correlated with pathological DOI (p-DOI), it is often 2–3 mm larger than p-DOI. Due to this variance, estimation of p-DOI based on r-DOI may not be accurate. However, when a lesion is undetectable on MRI, p-DOI was often smaller than 4 mm. On the other hand, when MRI depicts lesions with styloglossus and hyoglossus muscle invasion, p-DOI was always larger than 4 mm. These correlations between MRI findings and p-DOI are important when assessing the need for elective neck dissection, as the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) recommends elective neck dissection in cases with DOI greater than 4 mm.
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This article was presented in part at the 104th annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) in Chicago, 2018. It received a Cum Laude for educational exhibit.
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Baba, A., Hashimoto, K., Kayama, R. et al. Radiological approach for the newly incorporated T staging factor, depth of invasion (DOI), of the oral tongue cancer in the 8th edition of American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging manual: assessment of the necessity for elective neck dissection. Jpn J Radiol 38, 821–832 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11604-020-00982-w
- Depth of invasion
- Head and neck
- Oral tongue cancer