From the Journals

Clinical trial: The Sinai Robotic Surgery Trial in HPV Positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma


The Sinai Robotic Surgery Trial in HPV Positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma trial is an interventional study recruiting patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)–positive oropharyngeal cancer.

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Patients who are recruited will undergo robotic surgery after being screened for poor prognosis. Patients with good prognosis will be followed without receiving postoperative radiation. Those in this group who experience a recurrence will receive either more surgery and postoperative radiotherapy or postoperative chemoradiotherapy alone. Patients with poor prognosis will receive reduced-dose radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy based on pathology.

Few trials have examined deescalation using surgery alone in intermediate- and early-stage HPV-positive cancer, the investigators noted, adding that they expect more than half of participants will undergo curative treatment with surgery alone and that withholding radiation in these patients will not noticeably affect their long-term survival.

Patients are eligible for the study if they have early- or intermediate-stage, resectable, HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer. Patients must be at aged at least 18 years; cannot be pregnant; cannot have active alcohol addiction or tobacco usage; must have adequate bone marrow, hepatic, and renal functions; have an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1; have a limiting serious illness; and have had previous surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy for squamous cell carcinoma other than biopsy or tonsillectomy.

The primary outcome measures of the study are disease-free survival and local regional control after 3 and 5 years. Secondary outcome measures include overall survival, toxicity rates, quality of life outcomes after 3 and 5 years, and local regional control after 5 years.

Recruitment for the study ends in March 2019. About 200 people are expected to be included in the final analysis.

Find more information on the study page at

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