Advanced soft palate cancer: The clinical importance of the parapharyngeal space

Wade G. Douglas, Nestor R. Rigual, William Giese, Joseph Bauer, Sam M. Wiseman, Thom R. Loree, James Schwarz, Sadir Alrawi, Wesley L. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To identify the incidence of parapharyngeal space (PPS) recurrences and how they impact survival in advanced-stage soft-palate carcinoma patients. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: One hundred thirty-seven patients' charts were reviewed from 1971 to 1996. Inclusion criteria were patients who received a per-oral resection, discontinuous neck dissection, and postoperative adjuvant radiation therapy; 15 patients met criteria for inclusion. The incidence of PPS recurrences, regional failure, and survival were endpoints that were analyzed. RESULTS: There were no local failures in our study. Regional failures excluding the PPS (levels I-V) were 27%, and 40% occurred within the PPS. Cervical adenopathy was associated with 83% of the PPS recurrences. Median survival for PPS recurrences was 26 months, compared with 67 months for levels I-V recurrences (n = ns). CONCLUSIONS: The incidence of PPS recurrences is substantial in advanced-stage soft-palate cancer. PPS recurrences negatively impact survival; without effective salvage techniques for these recurrences or effective adjuvant therapy, poor patient outcomes can be expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-69
Number of pages4
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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