Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
 Open access journal indexed with Index Medicus & ISI's SCI  
Users online: 4765  
Home | Subscribe | Feedback | Login 
About Latest Articles Back-Issues Articlesmenu-bullet Search Instructions Online Submission Subscribe Etcetera Contact
 :: Next article
 :: Previous article 
 :: Table of Contents
 ::  Similar in PUBMED
 ::  Search Pubmed for
 ::  Search in Google Scholar for
 ::  Article in PDF (112 KB)
 ::  Citation Manager
 ::  Access Statistics
 ::  Reader Comments
 ::  Email Alert *
 ::  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free) 

  IN THIS Article
 ::  References
 ::  Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded131    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal


Year : 2006  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 233-234

Isolated recurrence at tracheostomy site in a non-laryngeal head and neck cancer

Departments of Head and Neck Services, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, India

Correspondence Address:
Sajid S Qureshi
Departments of Head and Neck Services, Tata Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 16855334

Rights and PermissionsRights and Permissions

How to cite this article:
Qureshi SS, Chaukar D A, DCruz A K. Isolated recurrence at tracheostomy site in a non-laryngeal head and neck cancer. J Postgrad Med 2006;52:233-4

How to cite this URL:
Qureshi SS, Chaukar D A, DCruz A K. Isolated recurrence at tracheostomy site in a non-laryngeal head and neck cancer. J Postgrad Med [serial online] 2006 [cited 2023 May 31];52:233-4. Available from:


A 36-year-old-man presented with T3N1M0 squamous carcinoma of anterior two-thirds of the tongue. He had received two cycles of platinum-based chemotherapy at the referral hospital. He underwent anterior two-third glossectomy with bilateral modified neck dissection and reconstruction with a pectoralis major myocutaneous flap. A tracheostomy was performed through a separate neck incision using separate instruments after cleaning the tracheostomy site and placement of new drapes. Postoperatively, histopathology showed all cut margins to be free of tumor and three positive nodes with perinodal extension in two. Patient was decannulated three weeks after surgery once wounds had well healed.

He received 6000-cGray post-operative radiotherapy. The tracheostomy site and the superior mediastinum were included in the radiation field. Five months after completion of radiotherapy, the patient presented with a 4 x 4 cm proliferative mass at the tracheostomy site [Figure - 1], biopsy of which proved to be metastasis of squamous carcinoma similar to the tongue lesion morphologically. There was no evidence of recurrent disease at the primary site or the neck. Computed tomography scan of the neck revealed a large proliferative mass at the tracheostomy site infiltrating the anterior wall of trachea and extending in to the soft tissues of the neck [Figure - 2]. Chest X-ray did not reveal pulmonary metastases. In view of the extensive soft tissue disease extending into the superior mediastinum, only palliative chemotherapy was offered. The patient died 3 months later.

Recurrence at tracheostomy site in the present case is probably due to implantation of neoplastic cells at the time of the original surgery or seeding of the tracheostomy site by haematogenously disseminated cells. Lymphatic metastasis does not appear to be the reason for the metastases in view of the midline location of the recurrence, but it cannot be excluded conclusively, considering the atypical lymphatic dissemination in patients with metastatic disease in the neck nodes. Contiguous spread is also unlikely in view of the absence of local or regional recurrence.

Neoplastic implantation is a well-known but uncommon cause of tumour recurrence.[1],[2],[3] Manipulation of tumor at the time of surgery may also cause dissemination of tumor cells in to the circulation leading to distant metastases.[2],[3] The seeding of cancer cells at distant sites can be stimulated by trauma and / or inflammation as damaged tissues provide a fertile soil for the development of metastases from haematogenously disseminated tumor cells.[2],[3] The treatment of tracheostomy site recurrence may require an extended total laryngectomy or high dose radiotherapy if the site was not included in the radiation ports. A method of delivering high-dose radiation to the stomal area by implanting iridium applicators in the tracheostomy tube have been described in patients who have received full-course radiotherapy.[4] Since only a few cases have been reported, specific recommendations cannot be provided, but a meticulous surgical technique, isolation of the surgical field with proper placement of drapes, change of instruments and gloves after removal of the specimen may theoretically reduce the risk of neoplastic implantations.

 :: References Top

1.Armstrong M, Price JC. Tumour implantation in a tracheotomy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1992;106;400-3.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Campbell AC, Gleich LL, Barrett WL, Gluckman JL. Cancerous seeding of the tracheotomy site in patients with upper aerodigestive tract squamous cell carcinoma. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1999;120;601-3.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Clayman G, Cohen JI, Adams GL. Neoplastic seeding of squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx. Head Neck 1993;15;245-8.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Jones RD. An iridium applicator for the treatment of stomal recurrence following tracheostomy for subglottic carcinoma. Br J Radiol 1991;64;270-1.  Back to cited text no. 4    


[Figure - 1], [Figure - 2]


Print this article  Email this article
Previous article Next article
Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow