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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 1986 Apr;12(4):515-21.

Primary radiotherapy of larynx and pharynx carcinoma--an analysis of some factors influencing local control and survival.


An analysis of 950 patients with carcinoma of the larynx and pharynx was performed to identify factors of importance for local control and survival other than the TNM-classification. All patients were treated with primary radiotherapy, with doses ranging between 60-68 Gy in 6-7 weeks. The achievement of local-regional control by primary radiotherapy was highly correlated with disease-free survival (98% actuarial 5 year probability), which was significantly better than in patients who failed in the primary treatment but were salvaged by radical surgery. Furthermore, occurrence of distant metastases were almost all associated with failure to control the primary tumor. Sex was found to be a dominant prognostic factor, and in all sites and stages, women had a significantly better prognosis both with regard to local control and survival. The degree of histopathological differentiation was not significantly correlated with local control but with the incidence of distant metastases, which was significantly higher in patients with poorly differentiated tumors. In both males and females the pre-treatment hemoglobin concentration was correlated with the probability of primary tumor control and survival but only in patients with pharyngeal and to a lesser degree supraglottic tumors. In these groups, patients with hemoglobin levels above 13 g% (females) and 14.5 g% (males) had a significantly better prognosis than comparable patients with lower hemoglobin values. Such correlation could not be detected in patients with glottic tumors. The influence of tumor size was analyzed in a larger group of 1,060 patients with laryngeal carcinoma. In this group a notable correlation between tumor size and prognosis was observed within the various T-categories, indicating the tumor size as a significantly important parameter related to both probability of local control and survival. The study reveals that head and neck cancer is a heterogeneous disease and it is demonstrated that attention should be given to the various prognostic parameters since important therapeutic achievement is otherwise lost.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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