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Verrucous squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx: diagnostic and therapeutic considerations

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The clinical findings, histopathology, management and outcome of 31 patients with verrucous squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx (VSCC) are discussed. Laryngeal VSCC is a rare, highly differentiated variant of SCC and has specific morphological features and clinical behavior. A close liaison between the laryngologist and pathologist is needed to formulate a correct diagnosis, because this tumor appears to be malignant clinically and histologically benign. A low-power magnification of multiple large specimens, including the deep margins of the lesion, is required in order to differentiate VSCC from keratosis, verruca vulgaris or SCC with verrucous appearance, and to detect underlying microscopic foci of invasive SCC within or adjacent to a verrucous carcinoma. Long-lasting hoarseness was the most common symptom as the glottic region was the most common site of VSCC. Presumed clinically positive N1 lymph nodes were observed in the necks of 7 patients, but none had metastatic disease on histopathological study. Surgery alone was the most effective form of treatment, as it allowed a good outcome of all treated patients. Surgery plus radiotherapy was associated with an early recurrence and a poor outcome in 2 of 7 patients treated. The generally “benign” behavior of VSCC allows for conservative surgery, with complete endoscopic resection using the carbon dioxide laser representing a more conservative surgical approach. Neck dissection is not indicated due to the non-metastatic behavior of this tumor.

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Maurizi, M., Cadoni, G., Ottaviani, F. et al. Verrucous squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx: diagnostic and therapeutic considerations. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 253, 130–135 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00615109

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Key words

  • Larynx
  • Verrucous squamous cell carcinoma
  • Histopathology