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Am J Surg. 1994 Nov;168(5):474-5.

Surgical salvage treatment of T1/T2 glottic carcinoma after failure of radiotherapy.

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  • 1Department of Head and Neck Surgery, Institut Gustave-Roussy, Villejuif, France.



To evaluate the use of conservative surgical salvage techniques (eg, vertical partial laryngectomy and subtotal laryngectomy with cricohyoidopexy) versus total laryngectomy for radiotherapeutic failure of early glottic cancer by retrospective review of medical records.


Of 950 previously untreated endolaryngeal carcinomas managed at the Gustave-Roussy Institute in France between 1975 and 1984, 259 of 344 early glottic cancers (T1, N0 and T2, N0) received radiation therapy. Local failure rates were 14% in T1a cancers, 16% in T1b cancers, and 36% in T2 cancers with normal vocal-cord mobility.


Nine of 54 patients with treatment failure were ineligible for salvage surgery. Among the remaining 45 patients, 35 underwent a total laryngectomy; these patients had a 77% 5-year survival rate. Ten patients treated with partial surgery (6 vertical partial laryngectomies and 4 subtotal laryngectomies with cricohyoidopexy) had a 100% survival rate at 5 years. Seven of the 10 patients treated with partial surgery had healing problems that delayed canula and nasogastric tube removal for 30 to 60 days.


Salvage surgery is effective for radiotherapeutic failures of early glottic cancers. In some cases, partial surgery can be performed with good tumor control and satisfactory laryngeal functions. Subtotal laryngectomy is an alternative to total laryngectomy if vertical partial surgery is not suitable.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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