The study was done to compare the long-term outcomes of transoral robotic surgery with those of non robotic surgery for patients with early-stage oropharyngeal cancer.

2694 total participants underwent transoral robotic surgery. There was a significant increase in the use of robotic surgery from 18.3% to 35.5% of all surgical procedures for T1 and T2 oropharyngeal cancers. Robotic surgery was associated with lower rates of positive surgical margins and lower use of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy. 4071 patients with known human papillomavirus status, robotic surgery was associated with improved overall survival compared with non robotic surgery in multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression. Similar results were seen when analyzing only the subset of facilities offering both robotic and non robotic surgery. The 5-year overall survival was 84.8% vs 80.3% among patients undergoing robotic vs non robotic surgery in propensity score–matched cohorts. By contrast, there was no evidence that robotic surgery was associated with improved survival in other cancers, such as prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, and cervical cancer.

The findings of this study concluded that transoral robotic surgery was associated with improved surgical outcomes and survival compared with non robotic surgery in patients with early-stage oropharyngeal cancer. Evaluation in comparative randomized trials is warranted.

Reference: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaoncology/article-abstract/2769670