Transoral robotic surgery-based therapy in patients with stage III-IV oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma

Oral Oncol. 2017 Dec;75:16-21. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2017.10.014. Epub 2017 Oct 21.


Objective: TORS-based therapy including chemotherapy or RTx was administered to patients with stage III-IV OPSCC. We analyzed the oncological and functional outcomes of stage III-IV OPSCC patients who underwent TORS-based therapy.

Materials and methods: Between May 2008 and May 2016, 80 patients participated in this clinical trial.

Results: A negative margin was identified in 66 patients (82.5%) and a positive margin in 14 (17.5%). TNM stages were III in 13 patients (16.3%) and IV in 67 patients (83.8%). Of the patients, 13 received surgery alone, 28 had adjuvant RTx and 39 had adjuvant CCRTx. At last follow-up, 67 patients had no evidence of disease, seven were alive with disease, and six had died. Local recurrence developed in 2 patients and regional recurrence in 10. Five-year overall survival was 88.8%, disease-specific survival was 89.9%, and recurrence-free survival was 78.3%. The 5-year disease-specific survival of OPSCC patients with p16+ disease was 93.2%, which was higher than 89.0% of patients with p16- disease, but the difference was not statically significant. On multivariate analysis, only extranodal extension showed a significant relationship with recurrence-free survival on Cox regression analysis.

Conclusion: TORS-based therapy showed excellent oncological and functional outcomes for treatment of stage III-IV OPSCC. For advanced T stage OPSCC, clear margins were obtained using TORS-based therapy and patients with clear margins showed good local control. Risk stratification of patients based on pathological information obtained after surgery and decision about additional treatment based on the information helped improve OS and DSS of OPSCC patients.

Keywords: Adjuvant therapy; Neoadjuvant chemotherapy; Oropharyngeal cancer; Transoral robotic surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Minimally Invasive Surgical Procedures
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Oropharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Robotic Surgical Procedures*
  • Survival Analysis