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The use of CO2 laser in tumour resection of the oropharyngeal region


The incidence of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) remains high. Oral carcinomas are the sixth most common cancer in the world.

This prospective study evaluated the oncological outcomes following transoral CO2 laser resection of T1/T2 N0 OSCC. Patients' three-year disease-specific survival and disease-free survival were evaluated, including postoperative complications.


The patients’ data included a range of clinical, operative and histopathological variables related to the status of the surgical margins. Data collection also included recurrence, cause of death, date of death and last clinic review.

Ninety patients participated in this study. Their mean age at the 1st diagnosis of OSCC was 63.5 years. Two-thirds of the patients were Caucasians. Primary sites were mainly identified in the tongue, floor of mouth and buccal mucosa. Pathological analysis revealed that half of the patients had moderately differentiated OSCC.


Tumour clearance was primarily achieved in 73 patients. Follow-up resulted in a 3-year survival of 87.8%. Recurrence was identified in 12% of the patients. The mean age of 1st diagnosis of the recurrence group was 76.4 years. Most common oral sites included the lateral border of tongue and floor of mouth. Recurrence was associated with clinical N-stage disease. The surgical margins in this group were also evaluated.


Squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity has a poor overall prognosis with a high tendency to recur at the primary site and extend to involve the cervical lymph nodes. The overall results of this study were comparable with those of other, larger studies.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Jerjes, W., Upile, T., Hamdoon, Z. et al. The use of CO2 laser in tumour resection of the oropharyngeal region. Head Neck Oncol 2 (Suppl 1), O33 (2010).

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