Systemic therapy in non-conventional cancers of the larynx

Oral Oncol. 2018 Jul:82:61-68. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2018.05.005. Epub 2018 May 26.


Laryngeal cancer (LC) remains a challenging disease to treat. The majority of LCs diagnosed worldwide are squamous cell carcinomas (SCC), and current treatment guidelines are designed to address conventional laryngeal SCC. However, several histologically rare tumor types can originate in the larynx. There is a lack of guidelines regarding the best therapeutic approaches to these tumors and their treatment is often modeled after their recommended management at non-laryngeal sites. Understanding the role for systemic therapy in these rare tumors is important, especially for patients with advanced disease or those who are not surgical candidates. We provide in this manuscript a detailed and comprehensive overview of systemic therapy considerations for the following histologic tumor types of the larynx: verrucous carcinoma (VC), HPV-related SCC, basaloid SCC (BSCC), lymphoepithelial carcinoma (LEC), adenosquamous carcinoma (ASC), typical and atypical carcinoid, small cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (SCNC), large cell neuroendocrine carcinoma (LCNC), NUT midline carcinomas (NUTMC), melanoma, adenoid cystic carcinoma, rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), malignant fibrous histiocytoma (MFH), lymphoma, mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC), acinic cell carcinoma, and spindle cell carcinoma (SpCC).

Keywords: Chemotherapy; Head and neck cancer; Immunotherapy; Laryngeal cancer; Larynx.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / classification
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antineoplastic Agents