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Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2003 Mar;128(3):419-25.

Multiple primary tumors in patients diagnosed with hypopharyngeal cancer.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Nottingham, UK.



There have been few series to report on the incidence of multiple primary tumors associated with hypopharyngeal cancer. A unique consecutive patient group in a closed community who were treated by a single surgeon was available. The incidence and effect of multiple primary tumors were unknown.


We sought to assess (1) the incidence of multiple primary tumors among patients with hypopharyngeal cancer who were treated at a tertiary center, (2) the incidence of synchronous and metachronous tumors, and (3) the location of these multiple primary tumors and their effect on patient survival.


We conducted a retrospective study of case notes of 150 consecutive patients with hypopharyngeal malignancy treated by a single surgeon between 1983 and 1998. Information was compiled from the patients' medical records and death data from the Family Health Services Authority.


Thirty-four patients had multiple primary tumors (22.6%). There were 22 men and 12 women; piriform fossa tumor was seen in 21 men and 6 women, and postcricoid space tumor was seen in 6 women and 1 man. Second primary tumors were synchronous in 7 patients, subsequent to hypopharyngeal tumor in 5 patients, and antecedent to hypopharyngeal tumor in 14 patients. Eight patients had 2 primary tumors, of which 4 were synchronous, 4 were subsequent, and 8 were antecedent to hypopharyngeal malignancy. On the last review (2001), 3 patients were alive, and 31 had died: 17 had died from primary malignancy, 11 from another malignancy, and 3 from unrelated causes.


The presence of second primary tumors in hypopharyngeal cancer is higher than previously reported, and their presence had a significant effect on the patients' survival.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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