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Am J Clin Oncol. 2007 Apr;30(2):181-5.

T3 and T4 true vocal cord squamous carcinomas treated with external beam irradiation: a single institution's 35-year experience.

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Department of Radiation Oncology at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, USA.



The purpose of this study was to report the outcomes after external-beam radiotherapy (RT) for selected T3 and T4 vocal cord squamous cell carcinomas.


One hundred nine patients with previously untreated T3 and T4 squamous cell carcinomas of the glottic larynx were treated with curative intent in this Institutional Review Board-approved outcome study using continuous-course RT alone (106 patients) or followed by a planned neck dissection (3 patients) between September 1966 and June 2002. Patients selected for such treatment had relatively low-volume, unilateral disease. Patients were staged according to the recommendations of the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) as follows: T3N0, 68 patients (62%); T3N1, 14 patients (13%); T3N2B, 5 patients (5%); T4N0, 17 patients (16%); T4N1, 4 patients (4%); and T4N2B, 1 patient.


The 5-year outcomes after treatment were: local control for stage T3 and T4, 78% and 81%; locoregional control for AJCC stage III and IVa, 62% and 78%; distant metastasis-free survival for AJCC stage III and IVa, 97% and 100%; cause-specific survival for AJCC stage III and IVa, 84% and 87%; and overall survival for AJCC stage III and IVa, 52% and 67%, respectively. Severe complications occurred in 13 patients (12%).


The results of this retrospective study compare favorably with those published elsewhere in the literature for T3 and T4 vocal cord carcinomas. Local control and ultimate cure probabilities will hopefully improve further with the addition of concomitant chemotherapy to RT for larger tumors.

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