Transoral Robotic Surgery and De-escalation of Cancer Treatment

Benjamin Wahle, Jose Zevallos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This article outlines the ways that transoral robotic surgery and transoral laser microsurgery relate to treatment de-escalation in the treatment of head and neck cancer. Treatment de-escalation has particular importance in context of human papillomavirus–related oropharynx squamous cell carcinoma, which responds well to therapy but leaves many survivors with decades of treatment-related sequelae. We compare these less invasive transoral approaches with previously used open approaches to the oropharynx. We discuss the topic of treatment de-escalation in human papillomavirus–related disease and outline completed and ongoing clinical trials investigating the choice of primary treatment modality and de-escalation of adjuvant therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)981-994
Number of pages14
JournalOtolaryngologic Clinics of North America
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Human papillomavirus–associated oropharynx cancer
  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx
  • Transoral laser microsurgery
  • Transoral robotic surgery
  • Treatment de-escalation
  • Treatment deintensification


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