Treatment Options in Early Stage (Stage I and II) of Oropharyngeal Cancer: A Narrative Review

Giuseppe Meccariello, Andrea Catalano, Giovanni Cammaroto, Giannicola Iannella, Claudio Vicini, Sheng Po Hao, Andrea De Vito*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: to show an overview on the treatments’ options for stage I and II oropharyngeal carcinomasquamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC). Background: The traditional primary treatment modality of OPSCC at early stages is intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT). Trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS) has offered as an alternative, less invasive surgical option. Patients with human papilloma virus (HPV)-positive OPSCC have distinct staging with better overall survival in comparison with HPV-negative OPSCC patients. Methods: a comprehensive review of the English language literature was performed using PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, and CENTRAL electronic databases. Conclusions: Many trials started examining the role of TORS in de-escalating treatment to optimize functional consequences while maintaining oncologic outcome. The head–neck surgeon has to know the current role of TORS in HPV-positive and negative OPSCC and the ongoing trials that will influence its future implementation. The feasibility of this treatment, the outcomes ensured, and the side effects are key factors to consider for each patient. The variables reported in this narrative review are pieces of a bigger puzzle called tailored, evidence-based driven medicine. Future evidence will help in the construction of robust and adaptive algorithms in order to ensure the adequate treatment for the OPSCC at early stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1050
JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
Issue number8
StatePublished - 08 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors.


  • early stages carcinoma
  • human papilloma virus
  • intensity modulated radiation therapy
  • oropharyngeal carcinoma squamous cell carcinoma
  • trans oral robotic surgery


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