Outcomes of Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Primary Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

Renee L.D. Pride, Jonathan J. Lopez, Jerry D. Brewer, Daniel L. Price, Clark C. Otley, Randall K. Roenigk, Christopher J. Arpey, Christian L. Baum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Limited data exist on sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) of the head and neck. OBJECTIVE To review the results of SLNB for patients with cSCC of the head and neck at the authors’ institution. MATERIALS AND METHODS A retrospective review was completed for patients who underwent SLNB for cSCC of the head and neck over 19 years. Patient demographics, immune status, tumor stage, total patients with positive SLNB, local recurrence, nodal recurrence, in-transit metastasis, and disease-specific death were recorded. RESULTS Sixty patients underwent lymphoscintigraphy, and an SLN was identified in 58 patients. The mean follow-up was 3.2 years (range, 15 days–16 years). Four patients (6.9%) had a positive SLNB. All were Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) stage T2b tumors. Three of these patients were immunosuppressed, 3 patients underwent neck dissection, and 2 patients received adjuvant radiation. None developed local or regional recurrence. Of the 53 patients with a negative SLNB, there were 4 local recurrences, 2 in-transit metastases, and no nodal recurrences. CONCLUSION Immunosuppressed patients with tumors BWH stage T2b or greater may be a reasonable cohort to focus future prospective studies on the utility of SLNB in cSCC of the head and neck.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-161
Number of pages5
JournalDermatologic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Dermatology


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