Korean J Otorhinolaryngol-Head Neck Surg.  2011 Jan;54(1):1-7. 10.3342/kjorl-hns.2011.54.1.1.

Functional Organ Preservation Surgery for Head and Neck Cancer

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. rohjl@amc.seoul.kr


Organ preservation strategy in treatment of the head and neck cancer (HNC) has led to an increase in the use of primary chemoradiation in both laryngeal and extralaryngeal sites for recent two decades. Primary non-surgical chemoradiotherpay has replaced the traditional gold standard of surgery followed by postoperative radiation with saving the organ and no compromising oncological outcomes. In accompany with wide clinical extension of primary chemoradiation, organ preservation surgery through open transcervical or transoral route has been increasingly used in the patients with HNC at both primary and salvage settings. Minimally invasive transoral approach using lasers or robots has been more spotlighted as a sensible strategy for organ preservation of the HNC patients. There is, however, a paucity of randomized controlled clinical trial data comparing primary organ-preserving chemoradiation to organ preservation surgery. Future direction leads to conduct well-designed clinical trials to establish the functional and oncological benefits of the organ preservation surgery. This article reviews the role of organ preservation surgery in head and neck cancer.


Head and neck cancer; Organ preservation; Surgery; Laser; Microsurgery; Robotics; Minimally invasive
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