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Open Access Research article

Neck dissection and post-operative chemotherapy with dimethyl triazeno imidazole carboxamide and cisplatin protocol are useful for oral mucosal melanoma

Xi Yang, Guo-xin Ren, Chen-ping Zhang*, Guo-yu Zhou, Yong-jie Hu, Wen-jun Yang, Wei Guo, Jiang Li and Lai-ping Zhong*

Author Affiliations

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Ninth People's Hospital, School of Stomatology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine; Shanghai Key Laboratory of Stomatology, China

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:623  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-623

Published: 11 November 2010

Abstract

Background

Oral mucosal melanoma (OMM) is a clinically rare disease with poor prognosis. Various treatment methods have been investigated with the aim of improving the prognosis. This study aimed to analyze the data of a single institution in the management of OMM.

Methods

A total of 78 consecutive OMM patients were included in this retrospective study. The intraoral lesion was treated either by cryotherapy, surgery or both; the neck was treated by neck dissection or observation; post-operative chemotherapy with dimethyl triazeno imidazole carboxamide and cisplatin was performed in some patients. The Kaplan-Meier method was used for statistical analysis.

Results

Among the 78 patients, there were 50 males and 28 females with an average age of 53.8 years (ranging from 27 to 85 years). The most common sites of OMM were the hard palate and gingiva. The main cause of death in OMM was distant metastasis. No significant difference was found between the intraoral/cervical lesion recurrence/post-operative distant metastasis and the intraoral lesion site/biopsy method/treatment method. The metastasis rate of cervical lymph node was high in the OMM patients, even in the patients with clinically negative necks. Cervical lesion recurrence was correlated with N stage and intraoral lesion recurrence. The survival period was longer in the patients with T3 staging, clinical stage III disease, with post-operative chemotherapy and without post-operative distant metastasis when compared to those patients with T4a staging, clinical stage IV disease, without post-operative chemotherapy and with post-operative distant metastasis.

Conclusions

Radical surgery including wide intraoral resection and neck dissection is recommended for OMM patients. Post-operative chemotherapy may also be beneficial for both primary and recurrent OMM patients.