Outcomes of salvage surgery for the oropharynx and larynx: a contemporary experience in a UK Cancer Centre

  • Ashley HayEmail author
  • Ricard Simo
  • Gillian Hall
  • Selvam Tharavai
  • Richard Oakley
  • Alastair Fry
  • Luke Cascarini
  • Mary Lei
  • Teresa Guerro-Urbano
  • Jean-Pierre Jeannon
Head & Neck



The purpose of this study was to review our recent experience of salvage surgery, comparing larynx and oropharynx recurrence patterns.


A single centre, retrospective review of salvage surgery for recurrent head and neck cancer including patients between 2008 and 2016.


61 patients were identified, 36 underwent salvage laryngectomy and 25 received oropharyngeal resections. The median overall survival of oropharyngeal recurrent tumors was 26 months (95% CI 15–118 months) and for laryngeal tumors was 23 months (95% CI 11–38 months), p = 0.1008. There was a significant overall survival benefit in patients with negative resection margin. The median survival in the negative margin group was 38 months (95% CI 25–108 months) compared to the positive margin group, 9 months (95% CI 5–15 months), p < 0.0001.


Survival results following surgical salvage in the larynx and oropharynx appear to be similarly poor. Those patients with clear margins appear to have a significantly better prognosis.


Oropharynx cancer Larynx cancer Salvage surgery Recurrent head and neck cancer 



This study was not funded.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Head and Neck Surgery DepartmentGuys and St Thomas’ NHS TrustLondonUK

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