Transoral robotic resection and reconstruction for head and neck cancer

Eric M. Genden, Tamar Kotz, Charles C.L. Tong, Claris Smith, Andrew G. Sikora, Marita S. Teng, Stuart H. Packer, William L. Lawson, Johnny Kao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

128 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: To evaluate the patterns of failure, survival, and functional outcomes for patients treated with transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and compare these results with those from a cohort of patients treated with concurrent chemoradiation (CRT). Study Design: Prospective non-randomized case control study. Methods: Between April 2007 and April 2009, 30 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma were treated with primary TORS and adjuvant therapy as indicated on an institutional review board-approved protocol. Patients were evaluated before treatment, after treatment, and at subsequent 3-month intervals after completing treatment to determine their disease and head and neck-specific functional status using the Performance Status Scale for Head and Neck Cancer and the Functional Oral Intake Score (FOIS). Functional scores were compared to a matched group of head and neck patients treated with primary CRT. Results: The TORS patient population included 73% stage III-IV and 23% nonsmokers. The median follow-up was 20.4 months (range, 12.8-39.6 months). The 18-month locoregional control, distant control, disease-free survival, and overall survival were 91%, 93%, 78%, and 90%, respectively. Compared to the primary CRT group, TORS was associated with better short-term eating ability (72 vs. 43, P =.008), diet (43 vs. 25, P =.01), and FOIS (5.5 vs. 3.3, P <.001) at 2 weeks after completion of treatment. In contrast to TORS patients who returned to baseline, the CRT group continued to have decreased diet (P =.03) and FOIS (P =.02) at 12 months. Conclusions: Our early experience in treating selected head and neck cancers with TORS is associated with excellent oncologic and functional outcomes that compare favorably to primary CRT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1668-1674
Number of pages7
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Transoral robotic surgery
  • head and neck cancer
  • head and neck squamous cell carcinoma
  • oropharyngeal cancer
  • quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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