Recommendation for NHSScotland
Head and neck cancer of unknown primary (HNCUP) is a relatively rare condition affecting less than 5% of head and neck cancer patients. Evidence on the use of transoral robotic surgery (TORS) in patients with HNCUP was limited to three small non-comparative studies.
No firm conclusions could be drawn about the effectiveness of TORS mucosectomy/lingual tonsillectomy in patients with HNCUP due to a lack of studies directly comparing TORS with blind biopsy.
No cost-effectiveness evidence was identified on TORS in patients with HNCUP.
NHSScotland is required to consider the Scottish Health Technologies Group (SHTG) advice.
What were we asked to look at?
Da Vinci robotic surgical devices are a relatively new technology which is available at three centres in NHSScotland. These devices are currently used predominantly to provide a laparoscopic prostatectomy service. To ensure the devices are optimally employed, NHSScotland is considering expanding the indications for which robotic surgery is available.
Why is this important?
This work was accepted onto the SHTG programme as a priority to support evidence-informed use of robotic surgery capacity.
West of Scotland Cancer Network