Adjuvant radiotherapy is not supported in patients with verrucous carcinoma of the oral cavity

Suresh Mohan, Sara I. Pai, Neil Bhattacharyya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To analyze the impact of adjuvant radiation therapy (RT) on overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) in patients with verrucous carcinoma (VC) as compared to squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral cavity. Study Design: Cross-sectional population analysis. Methods: Cases of nonmetastatic VC/SCC of the oral cavity were extracted from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database (1988–2013). Kaplan-Meier survivals, stratified according to T stage, were compared between VC and SCC for treatment with or without adjuvant RT. Results: A total of 18,819 VC/SCC cases were identified. There were 581 (3.1%) VC (mean age 69.6 years, 48.9% female) versus 18,238 (97.0%) SCC (mean age, 65.3, 37.1% female) patients. Verrucous carcinoma patients receiving surgery alone (N = 539) demonstrated a trend toward improved OS versus VC patients receiving surgery and RT (N = 40) (117.0 vs. 71.4 months, respectively, P = 0.119). There was a statistically significant improvement in DSS in VC patients receiving surgery alone (217.2 vs. 110.9 months, P = 0.05). Verrucous carcinoma patients treated with adjuvant RT demonstrated a trend toward a worse OS (71.4 vs. 93.0 months, P = 0.992) and DSS (110.9 vs. 162.3 months, P = 0.275) compared to SCC treated with adjuvant RT, suggesting a different biology and radiosensitivity between VC and SCC. Conclusion: Verrucous carcinoma treated with adjuvant RT had a worse OS and DSS compared to both VC treated with surgery alone and SCC treated with surgery and adjuvant RT. Consideration should be given to surgical re-section rather than adjuvant RT in patients with positive margins or local recurrence. Level of Evidence: 2C. Laryngoscope, 127:1334–1338, 2017.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1334-1338
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • SEER
  • T stage
  • Verrucous carcinoma
  • cancer
  • head and neck cancer
  • oral cavity
  • radiation therapy
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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