Results of salvage surgery for local or regional recurrence after larynx preservation with induction chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Head Neck. 2001 Sep;23(9):733-8. doi: 10.1002/hed.1104.


Background: After treatment of locally advanced laryngeal carcinomas with induction chemotherapy and radiotherapy, some patients suffer a local or regional failure of the tumor, and salvage surgery is required. The aim of this study was to review the results of such salvage surgery in this group of patients.

Methods: A retrospective study of a cohort of 110 patients diagnosed between 1989 and 1996 with a locally advanced laryngeal carcinoma (T3-T4) treated with induction chemotherapy and radiotherapy was performed. The results of salvage surgery in patients with a local and/or regional failure of the treatment were analyzed.

Results: Forty-two patients presented a local and/or a regional recurrence of the tumor: 26 patients in the larynx, eight in the neck, and a further eight in both in the larynx and the neck. Salvage surgery was carried out in 28 patients (67%), consisting of total laryngectomies with neck dissections (24 cases), endoscopic resection of the tumor (one case), and radical neck dissections (three cases). Five-year adjusted survival for the 42 patients was 38%. Five-year survival for the 28 patients treated with salvage surgery was 57%. Five patients had postoperative complications: four had pharyngo-cutaneous fistulas and one had wound infection.

Conclusions: After a local and/or regional recurrence, 67% of patients with advanced laryngeal carcinoma treated with induction chemotherapy and radiotherapy were candidates to salvage surgery. Five-year adjusted survival for this group of patients was 57%.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Salvage Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Salvage Therapy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome