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Head Neck. 2011 Apr;33(4):573-80. doi: 10.1002/hed.21500. Epub 2010 Dec 6.

Transoral robotic surgery and human papillomavirus status: Oncologic results.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.



Patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) have been shown to have distinct outcome profiles based on their human papillomavirus (HPV) status. The purpose of this study was to assess HPV-related outcomes after transoral robotic surgery (TORS) with adjuvant therapy as indicated.


This study consisted of a retrospective review of 50 patients with OPSCC within a prospective single-arm cohort study. Outcome measures included HPV status, margin status, relapse pattern, and survival.


Thirty-seven patients were HPV-positive (74.0%) with 34 patients (91.9%) being serotype-16. Negative margins were achieved in 92.3% (HPV-negative) and 94.6% (HPV-positive). In the HPV-negative group, there were no local recurrences and 1 patient had both regional and distant recurrence (7.7%). In the HPV-positive group, there were no local or regional recurrences and 2 patients (5.4%) had distant recurrences. There were no statistically significant differences in survival between the 2 cohorts (overall survival, disease-specific survival, disease-free survival).


TORS as a primary surgical modality, followed by adjuvant therapy as indicated, offers disease control in both HPV-negative and HPV-positive groups. We believe that multi-institutional studies are warranted to further evaluate this novel approach for patients who are HPV negative and HPV positive.

Copyright © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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