Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2019 Nov 27. pii: S0360-3016(19)34057-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2019.11.021. [Epub ahead of print]

A Phase 2 Trial of Alternative Volumes of Oropharyngeal Irradiation for De-intensification (AVOID): Omission of the Resected Primary Tumor Bed After Transoral Robotic Surgery for Human Papilloma Virus-Related Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oropharynx.

Author information

Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Informatics, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Department of Radiation Oncology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Electronic address:



This trial tested the safety and efficacy of a novel, deintensified radiation therapy (RT) approach after initial surgical resection for patients with human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC).


This single-arm phase 2 prospective clinical trial enrolled 60 patients with stage pT1-pT2 N1-3 HPV-associated OPSCC treated with transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and selective neck dissection at a single institution between May 2014 and September 2017. Patients had favorable features at the primary site (negative surgical margins ≥2 mm, no perineural invasion, and no lymphovascular invasion) but required adjuvant therapy based on lymph node involvement. Surgeries were all performed at a high-volume head and neck cancer center with expertise in TORS. Patients received postoperative RT to at-risk areas in the involved neck (60-66 Gy) and uninvolved neck (54 Gy). The resected primary site was treated as an active avoidance structure in the treatment planning of postoperative RT. Concurrent chemotherapy was administered for patients with extranodal extension.


Median follow-up of the 60 patients enrolled was 2.4 years (range, 8.5-53.8 months). A single patient recurred at the primary site, for 2-year local control of 98.3%. One patient (1.7%) developed a regional neck recurrence, and 2 patients (3.3%) developed distant metastases. Measured 2-year local recurrence-free survival was 97.9% (95% confidence interval, 86.1%-99.7%). Overall survival was 100% at the time of analysis. The mean radiation dose to the primary site was 36.9 Gy (standard deviation, 10.3 Gy). Two patients (3.3%) experienced late soft tissue necrosis in the primary site surgical bed that resolved within 2 months. Feeding tube dependence rates were 0% during RT, 3.3% temporarily during follow-up, and 0% at last follow-up.


Deintensified postoperative RT that avoids the resected primary tumor site and targets only the at-risk neck after TORS for selected patients with HPV-associated OPSCC may be safe and is worthy of further study.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center