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Hypopharyngeal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

Stage I Hypopharyngeal Cancer

Except for the very early T1 cancers of this region, treatment has been primarily surgery, usually followed with postoperative radiation therapy. Because these tumors are clinically silent until they reach advanced stages, it is very unusual to diagnose them at the T1 N0 stage. In most available retrospective reviews, T1 N0 cases represent only 1% to 2% of all patients seen. In the case of exophytic T1 N0 lesions, radiation therapy alone may be considered for treatment.[1,2]

Standard treatment options:

  • Laryngopharyngectomy and neck dissection has been the most frequently used therapy for hypopharyngeal cancers. In very selected cases of pyriform sinus cancers, that is, those arising in the upper lateral wall, a partial laryngopharyngectomy may be successfully used to preserve vocal function. All groups who use radiation advocate high-dose treatment to the primary site and to both sides of the neck to include the retropharyngeal and lateral cervical nodes.[1]

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I hypopharyngeal cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

References

  1. Mendenhall WM, Parsons JT, Devine JW, et al.: Squamous cell carcinoma of the pyriform sinus treated with surgery and/or radiotherapy. Head Neck Surg 10 (2): 88-92, 1987 Nov-Dec. [PUBMED Abstract]
  2. Murthy AK, Galinsky D, Hendrickson FR: Hypopharynx. In: Laramore GE, ed.: Radiation Therapy of Head and Neck Cancer. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1989, pp 107-24.
  • Updated: July 31, 2014