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Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Original research article

Prognostic factors for metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the parotid

Fawaz M Makki1*, Adrian I Mendez1, S Mark Taylor1, Jonathan Trites1, Martin Bullock2, Gordon Flowerdew3 and Robert D Hart1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre and Dalhousie University, 1278 Tower Rd, Halifax, NS, B3H 2Y9, Canada

2 Dalhousie University, Anatomical Pathology, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

3 Department of Community Health & Epidemiology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery 2013, 42:14  doi:10.1186/1916-0216-42-14

Published: 5 February 2013



To explore the prognostic significance of patient and disease characteristics on the survival of patients with metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the parotid gland at a tertiary care center in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.


A retrospective chart review for all patients diagnosed with metastatic cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma to the parotid gland from January 2000 to December 2010. Multiple variables were examined related to: patient demographics, surgical details, non-surgical procedure details, and tumor pathologic description.


A total of 54 patients [48 men (88%) and 6 women (12%)], with a median age at surgery of 78 years (range 47–93 years) were included in the study. All patients had a minimum follow up of 12 months or until deceased, with a median duration of follow up of 24 months. Predictors that were significant for cancer recurrence were pretreatment N-stage, pathologic neck node status, total number of positive neck nodes, and perineural invasion. Predictors that were significant for cancer death were the total number of positive neck nodes and perineural invasion. The remainder of the predictors including margin status were non-significant. Only age and nodal status were significant for both cancer death and recurrence on multivariate analysis.


Our results showed only two variables that remained significant on multivariate analysis were age and number of involved neck nodes, this finding suggests that re-resection of positive margins may not be necessary and that radiation therapy is the mainstay of treatment for positive margins.

Parotid gland; Squamous cell carcinoma; Metastasis