Risk factors for locoregional relapse after transoral robotic surgery for human papillomavirus-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

Head Neck. 2016 Apr;38 Suppl 1:E1674-9. doi: 10.1002/hed.24298. Epub 2015 Dec 15.


Background: Factors predicting locoregional relapse after surgery for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) were identified in the pre-human papillomavirus (HPV) era. We examined whether traditional indications for adjuvant radiotherapy (RT) or adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) still correlate with locoregional relapse in HPV-positive patients after transoral robotic surgery (TORS).

Methods: Retrospective review of oropharyngeal SCC cases identified patients with HPV-positive tumors who did not receive adjuvant therapy after TORS despite intermediate or high-risk features.

Results: Median follow-up was 26.7 months (range, 4.9-73.1 months). Five of 25 eligible patients (20%) relapsed at a median 4.8 months (range, 3.2-7.8 months). Two of 18 (11%) intermediate and 3 of 7 (43%) high-risk patients relapsed. Kaplan-Meier 2-year locoregional relapse-free survival estimates for intermediate and high-risk patients were 88% and 57% (p = .078), respectively.

Conclusion: Traditional indications for adjuvant RT or CRT were associated with high risk of locoregional relapse in HPV-positive patients treated with TORS alone. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: E1674-E1679, 2016.

Keywords: adjuvant therapy; human papillomavirus (HPV); oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma; risk factors; transoral robotic surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / virology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / virology
  • Papillomaviridae
  • Papillomavirus Infections / complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures*