Oral Presentation Joint Scientific Meeting of the Australian & NZ Head & Neck Cancer Society & NZ Association of Plastic Surgeons

Comparison study of dysphagia at 12 months following transoral robotic surgery and definitive chemo-radiation for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (1224)

Emma Charters 1 , Jonathan Clark 1 , hans bogaardt 2 , amy freeman-sanderson 3 , Kirrie Ballard 2
  1. Chris O'Brien Lifehouse, Camperdown, NSW, Australia
  2. Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
  3. Health Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, SYDNEY, NSW, Australia


Dysphagia outcomes for the surgical compared with radiotherapy approaches for the treatment of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is still being determined. Transoral robotic surgery allows some patients to choose primary surgical intervention for their cancer treatment plan then either avoiding or undergoing a de-escalated post-operative radiotherapy adjuvant treatment, rather than the traditional high dose chemo-radiotherapy. It is thought that this would improve the swallowing function for patients. We aimed to describe and compare the dysphagia characteristics of definitive intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and TORS at one year post treatment


Prospective, observational case matched cohort design, in a multi-centre trial (Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital)

Instrumental swallow assessment; fibreoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing, secretion severity scale, airway protection, penetration and aspiration scale, boston clearance and residue scale

Clinician rated measures: performance status scale (head and neck), functional oral intake scale

Patient rated measures: MD Anderson Dysphagia Index


In final months of recruitment, for completion in April 2020