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Study: Robotic Surgery Improves Survival for Some Oral Cancer Patients

Cedars-Sinai conducting study of the usage of robotic surgery to improve survival outcomes for some oral Cancer patients

“Oropharyngeal squamous cell cancer” is a mouthful to say—and the back of the mouth, as well as the throat, is exactly where its potentially deadly tumors form.

Removing malignancies from these sensitive areas requires a precise touch. New Cedars-Sinai research shows that adding the exact control of a robotic system is associated with improved survival outcomes.

Transoral robotic surgery arms surgeons with a computer-guided endoscope—a flexible tube with a light and camera—to provide high-resolution, 3D images for targeting malignancies. Using the National Cancer Database, the investigators found that the five-year survival rate for patients undergoing robotic surgery was 84.5%—a 4.2% improvement over traditional procedures. In addition, fewer robotic-surgery patients needed postoperative chemoradiation.

Radiation oncology resident Anthony T. Nguyen, MD, PhD of Cedars-Sinai

Radiation oncology resident Anthony T. Nguyen, MD, PhD, who served as the study’s lead researcher