Utility of up-front transoral robotic surgery in tailoring adjuvant therapy.


BACKGROUND The purpose of this study was to describe how the up-front transoral robotic surgery (TORS) approach could be used to individually tailor adjuvant therapy based on surgical pathology. METHODS Between January 2009 and December 2013, 76 patients received TORS for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Clinical predictors of adjuvant therapy were analyzed and comparisons were made between recommended treatment guidelines for up-front surgery versus definitive nonsurgical approaches. RESULTS Advanced N classification, human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive tumor, extracapsular spread (ECS; 26 of 76), perineural invasion (PNI; 14 of 76), and positive margins (7 of 76) were significant predictors of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT) (p < .05). Up-front TORS deintensified adjuvant therapy; 76% of stage I/II and 46% of stage III/IV patients avoided CRT. Conversely, pathologic staging resulted in 33% of patients who would have received radiotherapy (RT) alone based on clinical staging, to be intensified to receive adjuvant CRT. CONCLUSION The TORS approach deintensifies adjuvant therapy and provides valuable pathologic information to intensify treatment in select patients. TORS may be less effective in deintensification of adjuvant therapy in patients with clinically advanced N classification disease. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38:1201-1207, 2016.


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