Skip to main content

Volume 10 Supplement 1

de Senectute: Age and Health Forum

Larynx organ preservation in subjects with hypopharynx-larynx cancer


Till not many years ago, the recommended treatment for advanced laryngeal cancer was a total laryngectomy followed by adjuvant radiation therapy. Studies conducted from 1980’s have broadened the therapeutic options, in the attempt to cure the cancer while sparing laryngeal functions. Functional surgery and a combination of chemotherapy (CT) and radiotherapy (RT) appears to be able to reach these objectives. We analyzed the case series of patients with laryngeal-hypopharyngeal cancer observed in the period 1999-2006 to evaluate the results on the basis of the treatment offered, focusing in particular on advanced-stage cancer.

Materials and methods

146 patients were observed, of which 137 were analyzed; 113 patients were operated, while 24 had non-surgical treatment: 12 of these had a CT-RT protocol with induction CT followed by concomitant CT-RT.


After surgery in advanced-stage laryngeal cancer survival was 82% at 18 months, and 36% at 5 years, while after CT-RT protocol was 60% at 18 months. There was a statistically relevant advantage in the surgery group (P=0.02). For what concerns advanced-stage hypopharyngeal cancer, survival observed was 60% at 3 years (48% at 5 years) in the surgery group, and 62% at 3 years in the CT-RT group, without difference at the log-rank test (P=0.79).


In our case history, surgery had a better outcome than CT-RT in advanced-stage larynx cancer, even if we analyzed small groups of patients. These data need to be confirmed by larger case series; the advancements in surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy have furthermore to be held in due consideration, since they are opening interesting perspectives in the treatment of advanced-stage larynx cancer.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Conticello, S., Fulcheri, A., Gorzegno, M.G. et al. Larynx organ preservation in subjects with hypopharynx-larynx cancer. BMC Geriatr 10 (Suppl 1), A53 (2010).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: