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Revista de otorrinolaringología y cirugía de cabeza y cuello

 ISSN 0718-4816

OMAR R., Zeila et al. Survival of patients with cervical metastasis of unknown primary at the National Institute of Oncology and Radiobiology. 2007-2012. Rev. Otorrinolaringol. Cir. Cabeza Cuello []. 2020, 80, 4, pp.442-452. ISSN 0718-4816.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0718-48162020000400442.


Cervical metastases with occult primary represent 5% of head and neck tumors. Its diagnosis and treatment have been modified over the years according to different investigations, with a view to higher survival rates.


To determine the overall survival and according to different variables.

Material and Method:

A retrospective, descriptive and longitudinal investigation of 96 patients diagnosed at INOR in the period 2007-2012 was carried out, with follow-up until December 31, 2017.


Of the patients studied, 65 were men (67.7%) and 31 women (32.3%), for a ratio of 2.1: 1, with a mean age of 61.4 years. Smoking was present in the 64.6% of the population. The most affected lymph node level was level II and 42 patients (43.8%) presented N1 disease at diagnosis. Poorly differentiated histological grade was present in 42 patients (43.8%). 70.9% underwent surgery with or without adjuvant surgery and 86.5% had a complete response. The primary tumor appeared in 13.5% of cases, more frequent in the amygdala. Overall survival at 5 years was 74%, and survival variables were lymph node status and extranodal extension. The results coincide with the reviewed literature.


The overall 5-year survival of patients with occult primary cervical metastasis is high, tends to improve over the years, and is determined by lymph node status and extracapsular extension in an inversely proportional manner.

: unknown primary; cervical metastasis; cancer.

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