Scientific Papers

Oncological results of salvage treatment in patients with oropharynx carcinoma treated with radiotherapy


Radiotherapy is one of the treatments of choice for oropharyngeal carcinomas, combined with chemotherapy or cetuximab in the case of advanced tumours. After radiotherapy treatment, a variable percentage of patients, depending on the extent of the tumour, suffer persistence or local recurrence. In most cases, salvage surgery is the only curative option for patients with recurrence.

Patients with limited local recurrence may benefit from transoral resection, although in most cases an open approach with wide excision is required, and a high percentage of patients will require complex reconstructive techniques.

Several authors have highlighted that, oropharyngeal salvage surgeries have the worst prognosis of the different head and neck sites in terms of final disease control.1 According to a systematic review of the results of oropharyngeal tumour salvage surgery in oropharyngeal tumours by Kao and Ooi,2 the median 5-year overall survival of patients treated with this type of surgery was 30%.

The aim of the present study was to evaluate the therapeutic possibilities of salvage surgery after local recurrence in patients with oropharyngeal carcinomas treated with radiotherapy in our centre and to analyse the prognostic factors related to final control of the disease.

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