Transoral robotic surgery for hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: 3-year oncologic and functional analysis
Young Min Park ; Won Shik Kim ; Se-Heon Kim ; Jeong Hun Seol ; So Yoon Lee ; Armando De Virgilio
Oral Oncology, Vol.48(6) : 560~566, 2012
The recent trend in treatment of hypopharyngeal cancer is organ preservation in order to maintain swallowing and speech function as well as improve quality of life. Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) can remove hypopharyngeal lesions successfully without an external incision, preserving physiologic functions of affected organs. However, studies have yet to assess the oncologic and functional results of TORS for the treatment of hypopharyngeal cancer. This prospective study evaluated the oncologic and functional results of TORS for the treatment of hypopharyngeal cancer obtained at our institution over a period of 3 years and confirmed the validity of TORS as a surgical organ-preserving strategy. Between April 2008 and September 2011, 23 patients who were diagnosed with hypopharyngeal cancer underwent TORS for removal of a primary lesion. The da Vinci Robotic system (Intuitive Surgical Inc., Sunnyvale, California) was used to remove the lesion. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to analyze overall survival and disease-free survival. Videopharyngogram study (VEF) was performed and functional outcome swallowing scale (FOSS) was utilized to measure and evaluate swallowing function. Acoustic wave form analysis was conducted to evaluate voice status. Overall survival at 3 years was 89% and disease-free survival was 84%. On the VEF study, serious aspiration or delay of swallowing was not observed during the pharyngeal stage of the swallowing process. Overall, 96% of the patients showed favorable swallowing abilities with an FOSS score ranging from 0 to 2. The fundamental frequency variation (vF0) and jitter were increased upon acoustic waveform analysis (vF0=2.71 ± 0.063, Jitter=2.01 ± 0.034), but the harmonic-to-noise ratio (HNR) and shimmer were maintained close to the normal range (HNR=1.28 ± 0.001, Shim=1.74 ± 0.036). The oncologic and functional results of TORS were quite acceptable for the treatment of hypopharyngeal cancer. TORS is a valid treatment option as a surgical, organ-preserving strategy for select patients with hypopharyngeal cancer.