• Prospective, blinded trial of whole-body magnetic resonance imaging versus computed tomography positron emission tomography in staging primary and recurrent cancer of the head and neck.

      O'Neill, J P; Moynagh, M; Kavanagh, E; O'Dwyer, T; Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, The Mater Hospital, Dublin, , Ireland. joneill@rcsi.ie (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVES: To compare the use of computed tomography - positron emission tomography and whole-body magnetic resonance imaging for the staging of head and neck cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: From January to July 2009, 15 consecutive head and neck cancer patients (11 men and four women; mean age 59 years; age range 19 to 81 years) underwent computed tomography - positron emission tomography and whole-body magnetic resonance imaging for pre-therapeutic evaluation. All scans were staged, as per the American Joint Committee on Cancer tumour-node-metastasis classification, by two blinded consultant radiologists, in two sittings. Diagnoses were confirmed by histopathological examination of endoscopic biopsies, and in some cases whole surgical specimens. RESULTS: Tumour staging showed a 74 per cent concordance, node staging an 80 per cent concordance and metastasis staging a 100 per cent concordance, comparing the two imaging modalities. CONCLUSION: This study found radiological staging discordance between the two imaging modalities. Whole-body magnetic resonance imaging is an emerging staging modality with superior visualisation of metastatic disease, which does not require exposure to ionising radiation.
    • Sentinel lymph node biopsy in node-negative squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity and oropharynx.

      Burns, P; Foster, A; Walshe, P; O'Dwyer, T; Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Mater Hospital, Dublin, Ireland., drfatihtunca@yahoo.com (2012-02-01)
      OBJECTIVES: Considerable controversy exists regarding the merits of elective neck dissection in patients with early stage oral cavity and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. It is highly desirable to have a method of identifying those patients who would benefit from further treatment of the neck when they are clinically node-negative. The purpose of the present study was to examine the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy in identifying occult neck disease in a cohort of patients with node-negative oral cavity and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. DESIGN: We evaluated a total of 13 patients with oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer who were clinically and radiologically node-negative. RESULTS: A sentinel lymph node was found in all 13 patients, revealing metastatic disease in five patients, four of whom had one or more positive sentinel lymph nodes. There was one false negative result, in which the sentinel lymph node was negative for tumour whereas histological examination of the neck dissection specimen showed occult disease. CONCLUSION: In view of these findings, we would recommend the use of sentinel lymph node biopsy in cases of oral cavity and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, in order to aid the differentiation of those patients whose necks are harbouring occult disease and who require further treatment.