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Laryngeal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

Health Professional Version

Stage I Laryngeal Cancer

Supraglottis

Standard treatment options:

  1. External-beam radiation therapy alone.
  2. Supraglottic laryngectomy. Total laryngectomy may be reserved for patients unable to tolerate potential respiratory complications of surgery or the supraglottic laryngectomy.

Radiation should be preferred because of the good results, preservation of the voice, and the possibility of surgical salvage in patients whose disease recurs locally.[1]

Glottis

Standard treatment options:

  1. Radiation therapy.[2-5]
  2. Cordectomy for very carefully selected patients with limited and superficial T1 lesions.[6,7]
  3. Partial or hemilaryngectomy or total laryngectomy, depending on anatomic considerations.
  4. Laser excision.[6,8]

Subglottis

Standard treatment options:

  1. Lesions can be treated successfully by radiation therapy alone with preservation of normal voice.
  2. Surgery is reserved for failure of radiation therapy or for patients who cannot be easily assessed for radiation therapy.

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 laryngeal 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. Ogura JH, Sessions DG, Spector GJ: Conservation surgery for epidermoid carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx. Laryngoscope 85 (11 pt 1): 1808-15, 1975. [PUBMED Abstract]
  2. Mittal B, Rao DV, Marks JE, et al.: Role of radiation in the management of early vocal cord carcinoma. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 9 (7): 997-1002, 1983. [PUBMED Abstract]
  3. Wang CC: Factors influencing the success of radiation therapy for T2 and T3 glottic carcinomas. Importance of cord mobility and sex. Am J Clin Oncol 9 (6): 517-20, 1986. [PUBMED Abstract]
  4. Mendenhall WM, Amdur RJ, Morris CG, et al.: T1-T2N0 squamous cell carcinoma of the glottic larynx treated with radiation therapy. J Clin Oncol 19 (20): 4029-36, 2001. [PUBMED Abstract]
  5. Foote RL, Olsen KD, Kunselman SJ, et al.: Early-stage squamous cell carcinoma of the glottic larynx managed with radiation therapy. Mayo Clin Proc 67 (7): 629-36, 1992. [PUBMED Abstract]
  6. Steiner W: Results of curative laser microsurgery of laryngeal carcinomas. Am J Otolaryngol 14 (2): 116-21, 1993 Mar-Apr. [PUBMED Abstract]
  7. Olsen KD, Thomas JV, DeSanto LW, et al.: Indications and results of cordectomy for early glottic carcinoma. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 108 (3): 277-82, 1993. [PUBMED Abstract]
  8. Lucioni M, Bertolin A, Rizzotto G, et al.: CO(2) laser surgery in elderly patients with glottic carcinoma: univariate and multivariate analyses of results. Head Neck 34 (12): 1804-9, 2012. [PUBMED Abstract]
  • Updated: July 31, 2014