Purpose To present evidence-based guidelines for the treatment of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) with definitive or adjuvant radiation therapy (RT). Methods and materials The American Society for Radiation Oncology convened the OPSCC Guideline Panel to perform a systematic literature review investigating the following key questions: (1) When is it appropriate to add systemic therapy to definitive RT in the treatment of OPSCC? (2) When is it appropriate to deliver postoperative RT with and without systemic therapy following primary surgery for OPSCC? (3) When is it appropriate to use induction chemotherapy in the treatment of OPSCC? (4) What are the appropriate dose, fractionation, and volume regimens with and without systemic therapy in the treatment of OPSCC? Results Patients with stage IV and stage T3 N0-1 OPSCC treated with definitive RT should receive concurrent high-dose intermittent cisplatin. Patients receiving adjuvant RT following surgical resection for positive surgical margins or extracapsular extension should be treated with concurrent high-dose intermittent cisplatin, and individuals with these risk factors who are intolerant of cisplatin should not routinely receive adjuvant concurrent systemic therapy. Induction chemotherapy should not be routinely delivered to patients with OPSCC. For patients with stage IV and stage T3 N0-1 OPSCC ineligible for concurrent chemoradiation therapy, altered fractionation RT should be used. Conclusion The successful management of OPSCC requires the collaboration of radiation, medical, and surgical oncologists. When high-level data are absent for clinical decision-making, treatment recommendations should incorporate patient values and preferences to arrive at the optimal therapeutic approach.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging