Chonnam Med J.  2021 Jan;57(1):58-61. 10.4068/cmj.2021.57.1.58.

Treatment Outcomes of Patients with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Unknown Primary

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Chonnam National University Medical School & Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, Korea


The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical characteristics and treatment outcome of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma of unknown primary (HNSCCUP), treated according to the method of our hospital. Six patients with histopathologically and radiologically confirmed HNSCCUP January 2010-December 2016 were enrolled in this study. All patients underwent radical neck dissection involving level I-V, bilateral tonsillectomy, and diagnostic esophagoscopy and postoperative radiotherapy (RT), with or without concurrent chemotherapy. There were no major complications resulting from surgical intervention. Duration of follow-up was 56.3±20.2 months (range, 28-82 months). There was no recurrence or late detection of primary site of HNSCCUP. All patients with HNSCCUP except one were alive, at the time of the last follow-up. The other patient had no recurrence of HNSCCUP, but died of colon cancer at 58 months postoperatively. We have successfully treated patients with HNSCCUP by performing radical neck dissection, bilateral tonsillectomy, and diagnostic esophagoscopy and postoperative RT with concurrent chemotherapy, and recommend using this method as the main treatment method.


Unknown Primary Neoplasms; Squamous Cell Carcinoma; Neck Dissection; Radiation Oncology
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