Background: Randomized trials established chemoradiotherapy as standard treatment for advanced laryngeal cancer. Patients with large-volume T4 disease (LVT4) were excluded from these trials. The purpose of this study was to report T4 laryngeal cancer patient outcome, including those with LVT4 disease, treated with chemoradiotherapy.
Patients and methods: This study is a retrospective subset analysis of 32 patients with T4 laryngeal carcinoma including LVT4 tumors treated on three consecutive protocols investigating paclitaxel (Taxol), 5-fluorouracil, hydroxyurea, and 1.5-Gy twice daily (BID) radiotherapy (TFHX).
Results: Median follow-up is 43 months. Four-year locoregional control (LRC), disease-free survival (DFS), overall survival (OS), and laryngectomy-free survival (LFS) was 71%, 67%, 53%, and 86%, respectively. Four patients required laryngectomy for recurrent or persistent disease. Of disease-free patients with >or=1 year follow-up, 90% demonstrated normal or understandable speech. None required laryngectomy for complications. Among LVT4 patients, 4-year LRC, DFS, OS, and LFS was 71%, 65%, 56%, and 81%, respectively. Induction chemotherapy improved 4-year LRC (90% versus 46%, P = 0.03) and DFS (84% versus 42%, P = 0.03).
Conclusions: Promising control and functional outcomes are achieved with TFHX for T4 laryngeal patients. LVT4 disease had outcomes similar to patients with less advanced disease treated on Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 91-11. Induction chemotherapy improved outcomes, warranting further investigation.