Improving margin revision: Characterization of tumor bed margins in early oral tongue cancer.

Prabhu AV, Sturgis CD, Lai C, Maxwell JH, Merzianu M, Hernandez-Prera JC, Purgina B, Thompson LDR, Tuluc M, Yang X, Seethala RR, Ferris RL, Chiosea SI.
Oral Oncol. 2017 Dec;75:184-188.
OBJECTIVES: To improve margin revision, this study characterizes the number, fragmentation, and orientation of tumor bed margins (TBM) in patients with pT1-2 pN0 squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the oral tongue.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Pathology reports (n=346) were reviewed. TBM parameters were indexed. In Group 1 patients all margins were obtained from the glossectomy specimen and there were no TBM. In Revision Group/Group 2 (n=103), tumor bed was sampled to revise suboptimal margins identified by examination of the glossectomy specimen. In Group 3 (n=124), TBM were obtained before examination of the glossectomy specimen.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Fewer TBMs were obtained per patient in Group 2 compared to Group 3 (57/103, 55% of patients with <3 vs. 117/124, 94%, ≥3 TBMs, respectively). The new margin surface was more frequently indicated in Group 2 compared to Group 3 (59/103, 57%, vs. 19/124, 15%, p<.001). If glossectomy specimen margins are accepted as the reference standard, then the TBM was 15% sensitive in Group 2 (95% confidence interval [CI], 7-29) and 32% sensitive in Group 3 (95% CI, 15-55). TBM fragmentation (23/103, 22% vs. 42/124, 34%) and frozen vs. permanent discrepancies (8/103, 3% vs. 3/124, 2%) were similar between Groups 2 and 3. The new margin surface was not indicated in 6 of 11 cases with discrepant frozen vs. permanent pathology findings, precluding judgment on final margin status. To facilitate the assessment of final margins, TBM should be represented by one tissue fragment with a marked new margin surface.
PubMed ID: 29074194
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