Clinical Study Evaluating the Proper Surgical Safety Margin for Early Stage Oral Tongue Cancers

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2030
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Samsung Medical Center
Updated on 12 May 2022
squamous cell carcinoma


A prospective multicenter randomized non-inferiority clinical trial, to evaluate the efficacy and safety of 1.0 cm-safety margin surgery, compared with 1.5 cm safety margin surgery for cT1-2N0 oral tongue cancer


A current standard primary treatment for oral tongue cancer is a curative surgical resection with/without adjuvant radiation treatments (or chemoradiation).

In pathological analysis of surgical specimens, more than 5 mm of non-tumorous tissues from the tumor border is regarded as a safe negative resection margin, according to the NCCN guideline (the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Dec 10. 2020). To achieve this clear margin, surgeons are apt to use a 1.0 to 1.5 cm safety margin around the gross tumor during surgery, considering 30-50% tumor shrinkage in tissue fixation process.

Many previous retrospective data have been reported to suggest the optimal or proper surgical extent for oral tongue cancer. Wider resection can lead to better local control, however, it sacrifices more normal tissue, resulting in the functional deficit of tongue (speech and swallowing), even with reconstruction.

Unfortunately up to now, no prospective comparison of a different surgical safety margin for oral tongue cancer have been conducted to draw a more solid conclusion. Particularly in early stage oral tongue cancer (cT1-2N0), some study results have suggested that less than 5 mm resection margin in pathology specimens can be also safe and effective in terms of tumor control.

To achieve a well-grounded result about the proper surgical safety margin in early stage (cT1-2N0) oral tongue cancer, we will compare the outcomes of the two (1.5 cm versus 1.0 cm) surgical safety margin in curative resection for cT1-2N0 oral tongue cancer.



  • The randomized allocation table was made by stratified block randomization methods with 1:1 ratio according to each participating surgeon and tumor stage.
  • Baseline number (BN) should be provided to the subjects in the order of the date of surgery.

Surgical Procedure

  • The study includes T1-2N0 oral tongue cancer patients. For the management of the primary lesion, wide resection with 1.0- or 1.5-cm surgical safety margin should be performed according to the results of study allocation.
  • Neck management can be resection of primary tumor without neck dissection, with ipsilateral or bilateral neck dissection (guided by tumor location) or with sentinel lymph node biopsy, according to the NCCN guideline (version 1.2021).

Evaluation of the surgical safety margin

  • The surgical safety margin should be meticulously evaluated in the pathology specimens in all directions.
  • The surgical margins less than 0.3 or 0.5 cm in final pathology results are considered as the close surgical margin.

Adjuvant Treatment

  • The adjuvant treatments either radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy are conducted if indicated following the NCCN guideline.
  • The follow-up after completion of the definitive treatment are made following the NCCN guideline.

Efficacy evaluation

  • The primary outcomes are determined with 2-year local control rates after the completion of the curative treatments.
  • The secondary outcomes are determined with the 5-year disease-free survival rates and speech/articulation functional analysis.

Condition Tongue Cancer, Tongue Cancer TNM Staging Primary Tumor (T) T1, Tongue Cancer TNM Staging Primary Tumor (T) T2, Surgery, Resection Margin, Squamous Cell Carcinoma
Treatment 1.5 cm surgical safety margin for cT1-2N0 oral tongue cancers, 1.0 cm surgical safety margin for cT1-2N0 oral tongue cancers
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04738786
SponsorSamsung Medical Center
Last Modified on12 May 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Pathologically proven oral tongue squamous cell carcinoma
Stage cT1-2N0M0 tumors
Treatment-naïve tumor
American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) physical status classification 1-3
Patients who give a written informed consent voluntarily

Exclusion Criteria

cT3-4 or N(+) tumors
Recurrent tumors or salvage surgery
Patients who have had a previous head and neck surgery and radiation treatment
Patients who have other head and neck cancer, within the last 5 years
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer  to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note