The Role for Surgical Management of HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Carcinoma
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- Genden, E.M. Head and Neck Pathol (2012) 6: 98. doi:10.1007/s12105-012-0362-7
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Human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal carcinoma has become the predominate cause of oropharyngeal carcinoma in the United States and Europe. Management of this disease is controversial. Traditional open surgical techniques gave way to concurrent chemoradiotherapy following several American and European organ-preservation trials suggesting that both modalities were equally efficacious. More recently, minimally invasive surgical techniques have gained popularity. These techniques provide an opportunity to achieve a complete surgical resection without the treatment-related morbidity associated with open surgery. Proponents of this technique contend that transoral surgical techniques provide a means to analyze the tumor tissue, prognosticate, and personally direct therapy. Skeptics suggest that HPV-associated oropharyngeal carcinoma responds well to chemoradiotherapy and that surgery may not provide a treatment advantage. Both approaches provide a unique perspective and both are currently being studied under trial.