Patterns of Care and Outcomes of Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy and 3D Conformal Radiotherapy for Early Stage Glottic Cancer: A National Cancer Database Analysis

Cancers (Basel). 2019 Dec 12;11(12):1996. doi: 10.3390/cancers11121996.


Early stage glottic cancer has traditionally been treated with 3D conformal radiotherapy (3DCRT). However, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has been recently adopted as an alternative to decrease toxicity. Here, we compared the usage and outcomes of IMRT and 3DCRT for patients with early stage squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the glottic larynx. Using the National Cancer Database, we identified patients with Stage I-II SCC of the glottis who received 55-75 Gy using IMRT (n = 1623) or 3DCRT (n = 2696). Median follow up was 42 months with a 5-year overall survival (OS) of 72%. Using a nominal logistic regression, race, ethnicity, year of diagnosis and fraction size were associated with the receipt of IMRT (p < 0.05). Using Kaplan-Meier methods and Cox proportional hazards models as well as a propensity matched cohort, there was no difference in OS for patients who received IMRT versus 3DCRT (hazard ratio (HR), 1.08; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.93-1.26; p = 0.302). However, there was a survival benefit for patients receiving slight hypofractionation as compared to conventional fractionation (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.69-0.92; p = 0.003). IMRT was associated with similar survival as 3DCRT, supporting the implementation of this potentially less toxic modality without compromising survival.

Keywords: carcinoma; laryngeal neoplasms; radiotherapy; squamous cell.