Objectives: To identify the risks associated with surgery, radiotherapy or a combined treatment approach for Fisch class C and D jugulotympanic paraganglioma, in order to develop an individualised approach for each patient depending on Fisch class, age, mutation presence, tumour size growth rate and presenting symptoms.
Design: A retrospective multicenter cohort study with all patient records of patients with a head and neck paraganglioma in the Radboudumc, Nijmegen and the St. Elisabeth Hospital, Tilburg, the Netherlands.
Main outcome measures: Local control, cranial nerve damage, complications, function recovery.
Results: We found highest local control rates after tumour debulking with postoperative radiotherapy in case of residual tumour growth, referred to as the combined treatment group, (100%; n = 19), which was significantly higher than the surgical group (82%; n = 17; P = 0.00), but did not differ from the radiotherapy group (90%; n = 29). There were significantly less complications in the radiotherapy group, when compared to surgery (63 vs 27%; P = 0.002) and the combined group (44 vs 27%; P = 0.016). Furthermore,: using a logistic regression model, we found that pretreatment tumour growth was a negative predictor for post-treatment cranial nerve function recovery (OR = 50.178, P = 0.001), reducing the chance of symptom recovery (67.3% vs 35.7%) post-treatment.
Conclusions: Radiotherapy should be the treatment of choice for the elderly. For younger patients, tumour debulking should be considered, with potential radiotherapy in case of residual tumour growth.
Keywords: debulking; jugulotympanic; paraganglioma; radiotherapy; surgery.
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.