Background: Unilateral radiotherapy (RT) of oropharyngeal carcinomas is accepted for patients with lateralized primary and low-volume nodal disease. Utilizing prospectively defined criteria of laterality and staging positron emission tomography (PET)/CT, we studied outcomes in patients with advanced-stage oropharyngeal cancer undergoing unilateral RT. Methods: Thirty-seven patients with oropharyngeal tumors >1 cm from midline regardless of node status underwent unilateral RT and were followed prospectively. Patient characteristics: T1 = 11; T2 = 22; T3 = 4; N0 = 3; N1 = 9; N2a = 3; N2b = 21; and Nx = 1. Dosimetry were determined and weekly National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) distress thermometer data were collected. Results: At median follow-up of 32 months, 3-year locoregional control, contralateral regional failure, distant metastasis-free survival, and disease-free survival were 96%, 0%, 7%, and 93%, respectively. Conclusion: Low rates of contralateral neck failure are demonstrated utilizing prospectively defined criteria for unilateral RT. The tolerances of contralateral organs are respected and patients report low to moderate levels of distress throughout treatment.
- human papillomavirus (HPV)
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