Mucosal Sparing Radiation Therapy in Resected Oropharyngeal Cancer

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Purpose:To report the outcomes of patients with favorable risk oropharyngeal cancer that underwent adjuvant radiation therapy with omission of the primary site from the clinical target volume (CTV).Material/Methods:A retrospective study of 40 patients treated with transoral surgery (TOS) followed by neck only radiation using intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) with exclusion of the primary site. For all patients, a CTV of the primary surgical bed was contoured to obtain the estimated incidental dose to the primary site.Results:Median follow-up was 51 months (range, 13-155 months). The median radiation therapy (RT) dose to the neck was 6000 cGy (range, 5400-6400 cGy). The mean incidental dose to the primary tonsillar site was 4320 cGy (SD ± 480 cGy) and to the primary base of tongue site was 4060 cGy (SD ± 420 cGy). There were no local failures and only 1 regional failure, resulting in 97.5% locoregional control rate at 4 years. Two patients developed distant metastases, without evidence of locoregional recurrence, for a 4-year overall survival rate of 97%.Conclusions:Our analysis suggests that mucosal sparing RT after TOS in favorable risk oropharyngeal cancer patients may provide comparable oncologic and improved functional outcomes compared to conventional treatment in selected patients.

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