Transoral carbon dioxide laser supraglottic laryngectomy and irradiation in stage I, II, and III squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx: report of Southwest Oncology Group Phase 2 Trial S9709

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007 Oct;133(10):1044-50. doi: 10.1001/archotol.133.10.1044.


Objective: To evaluate feasibility, functional outcome, and disease control of endoscopic surgery and irradiation in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the supraglottic larynx.

Design: Prospective, single-arm, phase 2 multi-institutional trial.

Setting: Southwest Oncology Group trial S9709.

Patients: Thirty-four patients diagnosed as having stage I, stage II, or selected stage III (T1-2N1M0) supraglottic laryngeal carcinoma enrolled from September 15, 1997, to December 1, 2001.

Interventions: Transoral supraglottic laryngectomy by carbon dioxide laser followed by planned postoperative radiotherapy.

Main outcome measures: Three-year progression-free survival, proportion of patients requiring tracheostomy as a result of surgery, and time to adequate oral intake.

Results: All 34 patients underwent surgery without major protocol deviation. Thirty-two patients (94%) completed planned postoperative radiotherapy without major deviation. At the time of analysis, only 1 patient (3%) had documented local disease recurrence at the primary disease site and required salvage total laryngectomy, and 2 patients (6%) had documented regional recurrence and required salvage neck dissection. Estimated 3-year progression-free survival and overall survival were 79% and 88%, respectively. No subjects required tracheostomy as a direct consequence of endoscopic resection. Patients who required tracheostomy before endoscopic resection due to either obstructive tumor bulk or unfavorable anatomy that precluded safe intubation (4 patients [12%]) were all decannulated in the early postoperative period (<or=1 week). Of the 34 patients, 24 (71%) recovered adequate oral intake (no longer requiring supplemental intravenous fluids or tube feeding) in the early postoperative period (before hospital discharge) (median time, 2 days; range, 1-7 days), with an additional 7 patients (21%) achieving delayed recovery (2.7-9.8 months). Three patients (9%) remained dependent on a feeding tube at last documented follow-up.

Conclusions: Transoral endoscopic carbon dioxide laser excision of supraglottic tumors combined with postoperative radiotherapy appears feasible in a multi-institutional setting, with reasonable disease control. Although timing was variable, most patients recovered adequate swallowing in the early postoperative period.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / radiotherapy
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell* / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glottis
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms* / radiotherapy
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Laryngectomy / methods*
  • Laser Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mouth
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome