Definitive Chemoradiotherapy Versus Surgery Followed by Adjuvant Radiotherapy in Resectable Stage III/IV Hypopharyngeal Cancer.

Research paper by Jun Won JW Kim, Mi Sun MS Kim, Se-Heon SH Kim, Joo Hang JH Kim, Chang Geol CG Lee, Gwi Eon GE Kim, Ki Chang KC Keum

Indexed on: 18 Mar '15Published on: 18 Mar '15Published in: Cancer research and treatment : official journal of Korean Cancer Association


The purpose of this study is to compare the treatment outcomes for locally advanced resectable hypopharyngeal cancer between organ-preserving chemoradiotherapy (CRT) and surgery followed by radiotherapy (SRT).We reviewed 91 patients with stage III/IV hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated with radiotherapy (RT). In the CRT group (n=34), 18 patients were treated with concurrent CRT and 16 patients with induction chemotherapy plus concurrent CRT. In the SRT group (n=57), six patients were treated with total laryngopharyngectomy, 34 patients with total laryngectomy (TL) and partial pharyngectomy (PP), and 17 patients with PP, which were followed by adjuvant radiotherapy (n=41) or CRT (n=16). The median RT dose was 70 Gy for CRT and 59.4 Gy for SRT.Five-year local control (84.1% vs. 90.9%), and disease-free survival (DFS, 51.0% vs. 52.7%) and overall survival (OS, 58.6% vs. 56.6%) showed no significant difference between the CRT and SRT groups. The functional larynx-preservation rate was higher in the CRT group (88.2% vs. 29.8%). Treatment-related toxicity, requiring surgical intervention, occurred more frequently in the SRT group (37% vs. 12%). In the SRT group, TL resulted in a significantly higher DFS than larynx-sparing surgery (63.9% vs. 26.5%, p=0.027). Treatment outcome of the SRT group improved when only patients with TL were considered (n=40); however, 5-year OS (67.1% vs. 58.6%, p=0.830) and DFS (63.9% vs. 51.0%, p=0.490) did not improve significantly when compared to the CRT group.Organ preserving CRT provided a treatment outcome that is comparable to SRT for locally advanced hypopharyngeal cancer, while offering an opportunity for functional larynx-preservation and reduced treatment-related toxicity.

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