OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Based on current guidelines, surgical and nonsurgical therapies are viable frontline treatment for patients with locoregional oropharyngeal carcinoma (OPC). We sought to compare financial parameters between chemoradiation and transoral robotic surgery (TORS) in this patient population.STUDY DESIGN: Case-control study.METHODS: In this study we identified patients with selected American Joint Committee on Cancer 7th Edition stage II to IVa OPC treated with TORS between January 2013 and December 2014. Fifteen patients who underwent TORS were stage matched with 15 patients treated with chemoradiation. Total charges and cost data for each patient were analyzed at 4-month and 1-year time points; functional and oncologic outcomes were assessed.RESULTS: There were no significant differences in functional and oncologic outcomes. Patients undergoing TORS had a longer inpatient hospital stay, and most required a nasogastric tube for an average of 3.5 days. There were no local or regional recurrences. Across all time points, the TORS group had lower charges and costs compared to the chemoradiation group, with 14% lower costs at 1 year. In the chemoradiation group, nearly two-thirds of costs came from radiation therapy and pharmacy expenses. Chemotherapy accounted for most pharmacy costs. The costs of operating the surgical robot accounted for a about half of surgical costs.CONCLUSIONS: Selected patients with stage II to IVa oropharyngeal carcinoma treated with TORS may incur lower costs than those treated nonsurgically. With rising healthcare spending, the financial impact of treatment might be considered for those patients eligible for treatment regimens with comparable functional and oncologic outcomes.LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 3b Laryngoscope, 2018.
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