A retrospective study of 702 patients with clinically positive nodes associated with squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, supraglottic larynx, and hypopharynx observed from 1954 to 1968 was done. The policies of treatment for the neck were not standardized during those years. Three hundred eleven patients who survived 24 months with the primary lesion controlled were divided into two groups: 1) those whose neck was treated by surgery alone; and 2) those who had combined radiation therapy and surgery to the neck, to test the efficacy of the two forms of treatment. For the three sites, the recurrence rate in the necks for the surgically treated group was 14% for stage N1, 26% for N2 and 34% N3. Rates for the group receiving combined treatment were 2%, 11% and 25% respectively. Results of the study also showed that elective irradiation, 5,000 rads in five weeks, will prevent metastasis from occurring in the NO staged neck.