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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Maxillofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 1/2017

Analysis of the outcome of young age tongue squamous cell carcinoma

Maxillofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery > Ausgabe 1/2017
Jae-Ho Jeon, Min Gyun Kim, Joo Yong Park, Jong Ho Lee, Myung Jin Kim, Hoon Myoung, Sung Weon Choi



The incidence of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) in young patients has recently increased, and these TSCCs are believed to be etiologically distinct from those in older patients, who have longer exposure to risk factors such as tobacco and alcohol. The prognosis of TSCCs in young patients remains controversial.


We retrospectively reviewed the records of 117 patients (2001–2011) who were diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue. Patients were divided into two age groups, older (ages over 40) and younger (ages 40 and younger). Data were compared between the two groups, and survival rates were analyzed.


The results show that there are significant differences in overall, disease-free, and distant metastasis-free survival rates between the two groups. Five-year overall survival rates were 70% in older patients and 42% in young patients (p = 0.033). Five-year disease-free survival rates were 73% in older patients and 40% in young patients (p = 0.011), and 5-year distant metastasis-free survival rates were 97% in older patients and 62% in young patients (p = 0.033).
Multivariate analysis revealed that histologic grade was the only independent risk factor for overall survival in both groups of patients (p = 0.002, HR = 2.287). The analysis also demonstrated that age was the critical risk factor for distant metastasis (p = 0.046, HR = 9.687).


In this study, young (ages 40 and younger) patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue had a higher rate of distant metastasis and a worse prognosis. Accordingly, we propose the necessity of an extensive therapeutic regimen that should be used in all young patients with TSCC.
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