To report our experience in the care of patients with minor salivary gland cancers occurring only in the oropharynx and to determine factors predictive of outcome.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Sixty-seven patients with malignant minor salivary gland tumors were identified from a preexisting database of patients with cancers of the oropharynx between January 1985 and December 2005.
Main Outcome Measures
Overall survival, disease-specific survival, and recurrence-free survival were calculated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Factors predictive of outcome were identified by univariate and multivariate analyses.
The most common histologic types were mucoepidermoid carcinoma in 26 patients (39%), adenoid cystic carcinoma in 16 (24%), adenocarcinoma in 16 (24%), and malignant mixed tumor in 7 (10%). The tumors were located in the base of the tongue in 41 patients (61%), soft palate in 20 (30%), and tonsil in 6 (9%). With a median follow-up time of 86 months (range, 12-249 months), overall outcomes at 5 and 10 years were overall survival, 80% and 53%; disease-specific survival, 87% and 67%; and recurrence-free survival, 69% and 60%, respectively. Tumor recurred in 20 patients (34%); 12 of these patients had locoregional failure and 15 developed distant metastases. Multivariate analyses showed that clinical T stage, anatomic subsite, and margin status were independent predictors for overall survival; T stage and margin status were independent predictors for locoregional recurrence-free survival.
Clinical T stage, anatomic subsite, and margin status are independent predictors of outcome of patients with minor salivary gland cancers of the oropharynx.