Standardization for oncologic head and neck surgery

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2021 Dec;278(12):4663-4669. doi: 10.1007/s00405-021-06867-6. Epub 2021 May 12.


The inherent variability in performing specific surgical procedures for head and neck cancer remains a barrier for accurately assessing treatment outcomes, particularly in clinical trials. While non-surgical modalities for cancer therapeutics have evolved to become far more uniform, there remains the challenge to standardize surgery. The purpose of this review is to identify the barriers in achieving uniformity and to highlight efforts by surgical groups to standardize selected operations and nomenclature. While further improvements in standardization will remain a challenge, we must encourage surgical groups to focus on strategies that provide such a level.

Keywords: Head and neck cancer; Quality assurance; Standardization; Surgical oncology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Head and Neck Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Medical Oncology
  • Reference Standards