Surgery alone successful in select cases of Oropharyngeal Carcinoma
Recent reports from the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology has found out that the patients who undergo surgery for HPV-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) with negative margins, no PNI, no LVI, and ≤1 positive lymph node without ENE have low risk for recurrence and that these patients can likely be safely treated with surgery alone.
Joshua D. Waltonen and colleagues from the Department of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA carried out the present study with the sole objective to analyze the oncologic outcomes and risk factors for recurrence in patients who underwent surgery for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC), and in whom adjuvant therapy was not recommended or was declined.
The authors carried out a retrospective cohort study of patients with OPSCC, all of whom were treated with transoral surgery only at a tertiary care academic medical center.
The study revealed the following results-
- Seventy-four patients met inclusion criteria.
- In 16, adjuvant therapy was recommended but declined.
- There were 8 recurrences, of which 6 had been given recommendations for adjuvant therapy.
- Of the 8 recurrences, 2 died, 2 are alive with disease, and 4 were successfully salvaged.
- Five patients died of unrelated causes. Lymphovascular invasion (LVI, P = .016) had a significant impact on recurrence, while other pathologic features of the primary tumor such as size, location, human papillomavirus (HPV) status, and margin status did not.
- Margins were classified as "positive" in 4 patients, "close" in 54, and "negative" in 16.
- There were 3 local recurrences (4.1%), each of whom had declined adjuvant therapy.
- Lymph node features such as N-stage (P = .0004), number of positive nodes (P = .0005), and presence of extra-nodal extension (ENE, P = .0042) had a statistically significant impact on relapse.
- Smoking history and surgical approach showed no significant impact on recurrence.
Therefore, the authors concluded that "patients who undergo surgery for HPV-positive OPSCC with negative margins, no PNI, no LVI, and ≤1 positive lymph node without ENE have low risk for recurrence. These patients can likely be safely treated with surgery alone. Patients with these risk factors who decline adjuvant therapy are at risk for recurrence, and should be monitored."