Induction Chemotherapy for p16 Positive Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Yuki Saito, Mizuo Ando, Go Omura, Kazuo Yasuhara, Masafumi Yoshida, Wataru Takahashi, Tatsuya Yamasoba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives/Hypothesis: We aimed to determine the effectiveness of induction chemotherapy for treating p16-positive oropharyngeal cancer in our department. Study Design: This was a retrospective case series to assess treatment effectiveness. Methods: We administered induction chemotherapy to patients with stage III to IV oropharyngeal p16-positive squamous cell carcinoma between 2008 and 2013. Induction chemotherapy was administered using combinations of docetaxel, cisplatin, and 5-fluorouracil. We measured the survival rates using the Kaplan-Meier method and log-rank test. Results: We reviewed 23 patients (18 men and 5 women; age, 42–79 years). Induction chemotherapy resulted in partial or complete remission (20 patients) and in stable (2 patients) or progressive (1 patient) disease. In partial or complete remission, subsequent radiotherapy was performed in 16 patients, chemoradiotherapy in two, and transoral resection in two. In stable or progressive disease, subsequent open surgery was performed. Overall, one patient died of cervical lymph node metastasis, one died of kidney cancer, and one died of myocardial infarction. Event-free, distant-metastasis–free survival was present for 20 patients. The 3-year disease-specific survival was 95%; the overall survival was 87%. Two patients required gastrostomies during chemoradiotherapy and three required tracheotomies, but these were closed in all patients. Conclusion: The therapeutic response to induction chemotherapy for p16-positive oropharyngeal cancer was good. Partial or complete remission was achieved in almost 90% patients, and control of local and distant metastases was possible when it was followed by radiotherapy alone or with transoral resection of the primary tumor. A multicenter study is required to confirm these findings. Level of Evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-32
Number of pages5
JournalLaryngoscope investigative otolaryngology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Oropharyngeal carcinoma
  • human papillomavirus
  • induction chemotherapy
  • p16

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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