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Non-traumatic bone fractures in cancer patients are usually pathological fractures due to bone metastases. In head and neck cancer patients, clavicle stress fractures may occur as a result of atrophy of the trapezius muscle after neck dissection in which the accessory nerve becomes structurally or functionally damaged.
A 71-year-old man underwent modified radical neck dissection with accessory nerve preservation and post-operative radiotherapy for submandibular lymph node metastases of tongue cancer. Four weeks after the radiotherapy, a clavicle fracture, with osteomyelitis and abscess formation in the pectoralis major muscle, occurred. Unlike in simple stress fracture, long-term antibiotic administration and drainage surgery were required to suppress the inflammation.
As seen in the present patient, clavicle stress fractures may occur even after neck dissection in which the accessory nerve is preserved, and may be complicated by osteomyelitis and abscess formation owing to risk factors such as radiotherapy, tracheostomy and contiguous infection.
We aimed to examine the clinical usefulness of a new World Health Organization classification scheme for salivary gland mucoepidermoid carcinoma, and to identify the factors most strongly associated with prognosis and outcome.
The clinicopathological features of 45 patients who received treatment for mucoepidermoid carcinoma between 1986 and 2010 were retrospectively investigated.
The overall disease-specific 5-year survival rate was 81.8 per cent. The rate for patients with low-grade tumours (92.5 per cent) was significantly higher than that for patients with intermediate or high-grade tumours (52.2 per cent). Univariate analysis revealed that five factors were significantly associated with five-year survival: age, tumour stage classification, lymph node status, histological grade and treatment method. Four factors were significant in multivariate analysis: age, sex, tumour stage classification and lymph node status.
The new World Health Organization classification was useful in predicting disease progression in patients with mucoepidermoid carcinoma. Patients with high-grade tumours or other prognostic factors positively associated with disease progression should be carefully evaluated and monitored.
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