Concurrent chemoradiotherapy improves survival in patients with hypopharyngeal cancer.

Research paper by Peter P Paximadis, George G Yoo, Ho-Sheng HS Lin, John J Jacobs, Ammar A Sukari, Greg G Dyson, Michael M Christensen, Harold H Kim

Indexed on: 11 Jun '11Published on: 11 Jun '11Published in: International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics


To retrospectively review our institutional experience with hypopharyngeal carcinoma with respect to treatment modality.A total of 70 patients with hypopharyngeal cancer treated between 1999 and 2009 were analyzed for functional and survival outcomes. The treatments included surgery alone (n = 5), surgery followed by radiotherapy (RT) (n = 3), surgery followed by chemoradiotherapy (CRT) (n = 13), RT alone (n = 2), CRT alone (n = 22), induction chemotherapy followed by RT (n = 3), and induction chemotherapy followed by CRT (n = 22).The median follow-up was 18 months. The median overall survival and disease-free survival for all patients was 28.3 and 17.6 months, respectively. The 1- and 2-year local control rate for all patients was 87.1% and 80%. CRT, given either as primary therapy or in the adjuvant setting, improved overall survival and disease-free survival compared with patients not receiving CRT. The median overall survival and disease-free survival for patients treated with CRT was 36.7 and 17.6 months vs. 14.0 and 8.0 months, respectively (p < .01). Of the patients initially treated with an organ-preserving approach, 4 (8.2%) required salvage laryngectomy for local recurrence or persistent disease; 8 (16.3%) and 12 (24.5%) patients were dependent on a percutaneous gastrostomy and tracheostomy tube, respectively. The 2-year laryngoesophageal dysfunction-free survival rate for patients treated with an organ-preserving approach was estimated at 31.7%.Concurrent CRT improves survival in patients with hypopharyngeal cancer. CRT given with conventional radiation techniques yields poor functional outcomes, and future efforts should be directed at determining the feasibility of pharyngeal-sparing intensity-modulated radiotherapy in patients with hypopharyngeal tumors.

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