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J Laryngol Otol. 2008 Nov;122(11):1156-61. doi: 10.1017/S0022215107001338. Epub 2008 Jan 7.

Squamous cell carcinoma of the temporal bone.

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  • 1Skull Base Unit, Department of Otorhinolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery, Guy's Hospital, London, UK.



The aim of this study was to present the management and survival data of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the temporal bone, and to discuss whether extensive surgery improves survival.


Retrospective, case-series review of 17 patients (18 cases) with temporal bone carcinoma (15 primary and three recurrent tumours), over a period of 20 years.


Tertiary referral centre-university hospital.


Disease-specific and overall five-year survival.


The mean age at presentation was 63 years, with a range of 39 to 75 years. Twelve cases of de novo tumour were managed by surgical resection followed by adjuvant radiotherapy in 10 cases, while three such patients were considered incurable from the outset and were given a combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Of the three patients referred to our unit with recurrent disease, two were treated elsewhere with radical mastoidectomy and one with chemoradiation; all were subsequently managed by subtotal petrosectomy. The disease-specific and overall five-year survival for the entire cohort was 64.17 per cent (mean 89 months; 95 per cent confidence interval, 62-117) and 47.06 per cent (mean 70 months; 95 per cent confidence interval, 43-98), respectively. The disease-specific and overall survival for patients with advanced T3 and T4 tumours was 59 per cent (mean 83 months; 95 per cent confidence interval, 53-113) and 40 per cent (mean 62; 95 per cent confidence interval, 33-91 months), respectively. All but one recurrence developed within 12 months of initiating treatment. No deaths occurred after 26 months of follow up.


A lateral temporal bone resection is adequate treatment for T1 and T2 tumours. Post-operative radiotherapy should probably be offered for large T2 tumours. For T3 and T4 tumours, a subtotal petrosectomy with parotidectomy followed by post-operative radiotherapy is adequate treatment, as it offers a similar outcome to that of more extensive procedures.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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