Head & neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) frequently metastasise through the lymphatic network. Hence, radiation oncologists often have to decide whether or not to include the different lymph node levels - anatomically defined regions in the head & neck that contain several lymph nodes - into the clinical target volume (CTV). Similarly, surgeons have to decide which lymph node levels to resect.
To aid them in their decision, the prevalence of metastatic involvement for HNSCC has been reported in numerous publications. However, the detailed patterns of progression, i.e. correlations between frequently metastatic lymph node levels as well as primary tumor characteristics remain insufficiently quantified. As a consequence, clinical guidelines on elective CTV definition are mostly based on prevalence of lymph node level involvement. Data that would allow for further personalization of CTV definition based on a patient's individual state of tumor progression is not available.
To tackle this, we extracted a dataset of 287 oropharyngal SCC patients treated at the University Hospital Zürich, for whom we report on a patient-individual basis the patterns of lymphatic metastatic progression together with primary tumor and patient risk factors. The data is made available in in raw format (a CSV table).
To make this data more accessible and especially easier to understand and draw conclusions from, we developed this web-based interface and in particular the dashboard where one can interact with the underlying data in a more intuitive way.
Beyond that, the dataset can be used for inference and risk prediction using a dynamic lymphatic progression model that we have developed, too.