Removing the taboo on the surgical violation (Cut-Through) of Cancer

K. Thomas Robbins, Carol R. Bradford, Juan P. Rodrigo, Carlos Suárez, Remco De Bree, Luiz P. Kowalski, Alessandra Rinaldo, Carl E. Silver, Valerie J. Lund, Ken Ichi Nibu, Alfio Ferlito*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


IMPORTANCE The surgical dictum of en bloc resection without violating cancer tissue has been challenged by novel treatments in head and neck cancer. OBSERVATIONS An analysis of treatment outcomes involving piecemeal removal of sinonasal, laryngeal, oropharyngeal, and hypopharyngeal cancer shows that it did not compromise tumor control. The rationale for the evolution toward use of this technique is outlined. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE While complete resection with clear margins remains a key end point in surgical oncology, we believe it is time to acknowledge that this time-honored dictum of avoiding tumor violation is no longer valid in selected situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1013
Number of pages4
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


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