Current role of surgery in the management of oropharyngeal cancer

Meghan T. Turner, James Kenneth Byrd, Robert L. Ferris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


The 1990s saw an increased use of chemoradiotherapy protocols, commonly referred to as organ-sparing therapy, for the treatment of oropharyngeal cancer after the Groupe d'Oncologie Radiothérapie Tête etCou trial. Since that time, human papillomavirus-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma has been identified as a unique disease, with improved survival regardless of treatment modality. The improved outcomes of this population has led to re-evaluation of treatment paradigms in the past decade, with a desire to spare young, humanpapillomavirus-positive patients the treatment-related toxicitiesof chemoradiotherapy and to use new minimally invasive surgical techniques to improve outcomes. Numerous retrospective and prospective studies have investigated the role of surgery in treatment of oropharyngeal carcinoma and have demonstrated equivalent oncologic outcomes and improved functional outcomes compared with chemoradiotherapy protocols. Ongoing and future clinical trials may help delineate the role of surgery in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1183
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy


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