This study evaluates the oncological outcome of patients with recurrent oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) after primary radiation therapy ± chemotherapy, primary surgical therapy, and surgical therapy followed by radiation therapy ± chemotherapy.
A total of 156 patients (36%) of a cohort of 427 treated for OPSCC between 1990 and 2006 developed recurrent disease. Fifty-one patients (12%) qualified for salvage treatment. Study endpoints were 5-year overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS).
The 5-year OS and DSS rates after salvage treatment were 29% and 40%; after initial primary radiation therapy, 25% and 40%; after initial surgery followed by radiation therapy, 40% and 40%; and after initial surgery alone, 20% and 40%.
Patients with an advanced OPSCC have a considerable risk for recurrence. Despite poor ultimate outcome, salvage treatment should be attempted in patients with resectable disease, good performance status, and absence of distant metastases. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2010