Transoral resection for squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue

Douglas K. Henstrom, Eric J. Moore, Kerry D. Olsen, Jan L. Kasperbauer, Michaela E. McGree

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To review the oncologic and functional outcomes of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue who underwent transoral tumor resection and neck dissection with or without postoperative adjuvant therapy. Design: Retrospective medical record review. Setting: Tertiary referral center. Patients: All patients undergoing transoral resection of squamous cell carcinoma on the base of the tongue as part of their primary treatment from January 1, 1996, through January 31, 2005. Main Outcome Measures: We analyzed overall survival, disease-specific survival, local control, and locoregional control rates using the Kaplan-Meier method. Speech and swallowing function and treatment-related morbidity were also analyzed. Results: A total of 20 patients underwent transoral resection. Four patients had surgery only, 12 had surgery and radiotherapy, and 4 had surgery and chemoradiotherapy. One patient had stage II disease, 3 had stage III disease, and 16 had stage IVA disease. The Kaplan-Meier overall survival rate was 90.0%, and the diseasespecific survival rate was 94.7% at 2 years, with a mean follow-up of 3.7 years. Median hospital stay was 4.7 days. Patients who received a tracheostomy underwent decannulation with a median tracheostomy time of 5.5 days. Seven of 9 patients who received a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tube had it removed. Three patients developed local recurrence, there were no regional recurrences, and 2 patients developed distant metastasis. Conclusions: Transoral resection of squamous cell carcinoma of the base of the tongue with postoperative adjuvant therapy provided excellent local and regional control and minimized morbidity. Transoral resection is a reasonable treatment option for patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, resulting in very low overall loss of organ function in properly selected patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1231-1238
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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