Robotic Surgery for Early-stage Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Cancer Might Result in Improved Health Outcomes, Study Suggests

Dec, 2020 - By WMR

Robotic Surgery for Early-stage Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Cancer Might Result in Improved Health Outcomes, Study Suggests

According to a new study by the researchers of Cedars-Sinai reported about the association of minimally invasive procedure for patients with oropharyngeal cancer and long-standing survival of patients. Oropharyngeal cancer mainly occurs in the back of the throat which, include tonsils and the base of the tongue.

Moreover, transoral robotic surgery can be defined as a minimally invasive procedure, where a surgeon employs computer-enhanced system to pilot an endoscope. Moreover an endoscope is a flexible tube with attached light and camera, in order to provide high-resolution, 3D images of the back of the mouth and throat, which is quite difficult with conventional tools and thus aids surgeons to safely eliminate tumors from the adjacent tissue.

In this research study, researchers utilized used data from the National Cancer Database that involved data of 9,745 surgical patients, of which 2,694 patients underwent transoral robotic surgery. Researchers observed that the overall survival rate for patients with early-stage disease increased by 84.5%, who underwent robotic surgery, in compared to patients who underwent non-robotic surgery and had survival rate of around 80.3%.

Moreover, researchers also observed increasing number of patients with early-stage oropharyngeal cancer opting for transoral robotic surgery after the U.S. FDA approved the surgery for that oropharyngeal cancer. This rise in number of transoral robotic surgery for oropharyngeal cancer encouraged the researchers to evaluate the theoretical benefits of robotic surgery. Later researchers observed that robotic surgery was associated with lower rates of positive surgical margins (cancer cells that remain at the edge of tissue that has been surgically removed) in compared to non-robotic surgery.

Zumsteg, lead author stated, “Our purpose in doing this study was to see how this new technology, which has never been tested in a randomized, controlled trial, has influenced patterns of treatment and outcomes since its FDA approval. There is a learning curve with any new surgical technique, and new ones don't always translate into equal or improved outcomes.”

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