Transoral robotic surgery for oropharyngeal cancer: patient selection and special considerations

Cancer Manag Res. 2018 Apr 20;10:839-846. doi: 10.2147/CMAR.S118891. eCollection 2018.


The increasing incidence of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) emphasizes the importance of optimizing treatment for the disease. Historical protocol has utilized definitive radiation and invasive open procedures; these techniques expose the patient to significant risks and morbidity. Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) has emerged as a therapeutic modality with promise. Here, the literature regarding proper patient selection and other considerations for this procedure was reviewed. Multiple patient and tumor-related factors were found to be relevant for successful use of this treatment strategy. Outcomes regarding early and advanced-stage OPSCC were analyzed. Finally, the literature regarding use of TORS in three distinct patient populations, individuals with primary OPSCC, carcinoma of unknown primary and those with recurrent OPSCC, was examined.

Keywords: TORS; carcinoma of unknown primary; oropharyngeal cancer; robotic surgery.

Publication types

  • Review