Initial treatment of the early stages (I, II) of supraglottic squamous cell carcinoma: partial laryngectomy versus radiotherapy
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The purpose of this study was to define the treatment of choice (partial laryngectomy vs radiotherapy) in the early stage of supraglottic squamous cell cancer (ESSC). One hundred and fifteen patients with ESSC were treated with either partial laryngectomy (25 patients) or with radiotherapy(90 patients) between January 1984 and December 1996. All patients had a follow-up of over ¶29 months. Radiotherapy (RT) had a local control rate of 79%, which increased to 90% with salvage surgery, and a high larynx preservation rate (83%). Partial laryngectomy (PL) offered a better initial local control rate of 84%, which increased to 88% with salvage surgery, and functional results were also good (80%). No statistically significant differences were found between RT and PL. RT was less costly, showed better suitability for treatment, produced moderate morbidity and sequelae, and local recurrence was easier to rescue. However, it is a once-only application technique. PL showed higher immediate postoperative morbidity, higher cost and lower suitability for treatment but had fewer sequelae, offered the best initial local control and is multi-applicable. No clear oncological arguments were found in our series to define whether PL or RT is the treatment of choice for ESSC. Both are effective therapies. Secondary factors such as suitability for treatment, morbidity, cost and applicability should be individually evaluated when choosing the type of treatment. As the laser endoscopic approach decreases morbidity and costs and makes the condition more suitable for treatment, it could be the treatment of choice for ESSC, in cases where local tumoral extent and larynx exposure allow radical excision.
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