Conservative management of T1-T2N0 supraglottic cancer: A retrospective study

Giuseppe Spriano, Paolo Antognoni, Renato Piantanida, Diego Varinelli, Roberto Luraghi, Lorenzo Cerizza, Michele Tordiglione

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Purpose: Evaluate the results of conservative management of early-stage supraglottic cancer. Patients and Methods: A retrospective analysis of 166 consecutive T1-T2N0 cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx, treated conservatively between 1983 and 1992, was performed. Sixty- six patients received conservative surgery (CS), whereas 100 patients received definitive radiation therapy (RT). Surgical procedures included horizontal supraglottic laryngectomy in 38 patients, extended supraglottic laryngectomy in 16 patients, and reconstructive laryngectomy with cricohyoidopexy in 12 patients. Elective bilateral neck dissection was always performed. Radiotherapy was delivered with 60Co or 6 MV photons to the primary laryngeal tumor and the upper and mid neck nodes (level II and III), whereas supraclavicular nodes (level IV) were electively irradiated only in 54 patients with T2N0 tumors. Fifty-two patients received conventional fractionation, whereas 31 patients were irradiated according to a twice-a- day fractionation regimen. The median total tumor dose was 67 Gy (range, 64 to 72 Gy). Results: The 5-year overall survival of the whole series was 72.7% ± 4.5. In patients treated with CS, the 5-year disease-free survival was 88.4% ± 4.5 versus 76.4% ± 6.1 for patients who received RT. Salvage surgery was effective in rescuing 2 of 3 CS failures and 12 of 25 RT failures. The overall incidence of secondary tumors (11%) and distant metastases (5%) was relatively low, although together they account for 15% of all deaths. Complications of CS were significantly correlated to the extent of surgical procedure. A multivariate analysis performed in the RT group showed that performance status, tumor grade, and fractionation regimen significantly influenced disease-free survival. Conclusion: Conservative management of T1-T2N0 supraglottic cancer, either by CS or RT, can achieve good cure rates with larynx preservation for the majority of the patients (82% overall; 95% in the CS group and 72% in the RT group). The decision between different conservative treatment modalities may be influenced by the patient's conditions, tumor characteristics, treatment modalities, and also economic costs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-305
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Medicine and Surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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