Late consequential surgical bed soft tissue necrosis in advanced oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas treated with transoral robotic surgery and postoperative radiation therapy

J. Nicholas Lukens, Alexander Lin, Victoria Gamerman, Nandita Mitra, Surbhi Grover, Erin M. McMenamin, Gregory S. Weinstein, Bert W. O'Malley, Roger B. Cohen, Abimbola Orisamolu, Peter H. Ahn, Harry Quon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose A subset of patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OP-SCC) managed with transoral robotic surgery (TORS) and postoperative radiation therapy (PORT) developed soft tissue necrosis (STN) in the surgical bed months after completion of PORT. We investigated the frequency and risk factors. Materials and Methods This retrospective analysis included 170 consecutive OP-SCC patients treated with TORS and PORT between 2006 and 2012, with >6 months' of follow-up. STN was defined as ulceration of the surgical bed >6 weeks after completion of PORT, requiring opioids, biopsy, or hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Results A total of 47 of 170 patients (28%) had a diagnosis of STN. Tonsillar patients were more susceptible than base-of-tongue (BOT) patients, 39% (41 of 104) versus 9% (6 of 66), respectively. For patients with STN, median tumor size was 3.0 cm (range 1.0-5.6 cm), and depth of resection was 2.2 cm (range 1.0-5.1 cm). Median radiation dose and dose of fraction to the surgical bed were 6600 cGy and 220 cGy, respectively. Thirty-one patients (66%) received concurrent chemotherapy. Median time to STN was 2.5 months after PORT. All patients had resolution of STN after a median of 3.7 months. Multivariate analysis identified tonsillar primary (odds ratio [OR] 4.73, P=.01), depth of resection (OR 3.12, P=.001), total radiation dose to the resection bed (OR 1.51 per Gy, P<.01), and grade 3 acute mucositis (OR 3.47, P=.02) as risk factors for STN. Beginning May 2011, after implementing aggressive avoidance of delivering >2 Gy/day to the resection bed mucosa, only 8% (2 of 26 patients) experienced STN (all grade 2). Conclusions A subset of OP-SCC patients treated with TORS and PORT are at risk for developing late consequential surgical bed STN. Risk factors include tonsillar location, depth of resection, radiation dose to the surgical bed, and severe mucositis. STN risk is significantly decreased with carefully avoiding a radiation dosage of >2 Gy/day to the surgical bed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)981-988
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Volume89
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cancer Research

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