Conventional transoral surgery for stage I-II squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsillar region

Head Neck. 2013 May;35(5):653-9. doi: 10.1002/hed.23018. Epub 2012 May 18.


Background: The purpose of this study was to review the results of conventional transoral resection and neck dissection for stage I to II squamous carcinoma of the tonsillar region.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective review of 65 patients (stage I, 21 patients; stage II, 44 patients). Induction chemotherapy and postoperative radiation therapy (RT) were administered in 76.9% and 12.3%, respectively, of these cases.

Results: The postoperative course was uneventful in 96.9% of patients. Five-year actuarial estimates for local recurrence, nodal recurrence, distant metastasis, and survival were 0% to 7.6%, 0% to 7.8%, 0% to 7.3%, and 70.8% to 71.5% for patients with T1 to T2 carcinoma, respectively. Contralateral and retropharyngeal recurrence occurred in only 1 patient.

Conclusion: Conventional transoral resection with ipsilateral neck dissection provides an alternative approach for patients with stage I to II squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the tonsillar region. A primary surgical approach spares the use of radiotherapy to eliminate late effects and to permit its use for subsequent management of metachronous head and neck second primary cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / epidemiology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Otorhinolaryngologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Palatal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Radiotherapy Dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tonsillar Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tonsillar Neoplasms / radiotherapy