OBJECTIVE: To perform a systematic review of the literature available about the posterior pharyngeal wall squamous cell carcinomas, with a special focus on oncologic outcomes.
METHODS: A comprehensive research was performed on PubMed/MEDLINE, Google Scholar, and Cochrane Library datasets for published studies meeting the established criteria. The last search was conducted on December 8, 2019.
RESULTS: Eleven studies were included in the review, for a total of 534 patients (median age 60.4; male: n = 359, 67.2%). Six of the studies evaluated the oncologic outcomes of primary surgery, while three studies focused on results achieved through primary radiotherapy. Two studies evaluated both surgery and radiotherapy outcomes for the treatment of early or advanced posterior pharyngeal wall carcinoma.
CONCLUSIONS: Primary surgery associated with adjuvant radiotherapy would seem to ensure better oncologic outcomes, especially for locally advanced tumors. Moreover, this systematic review showed that oro- and hypo-pharyngeal wall tumors are similar in terms of clinical and biological behavior.