Comparison of treatment modalities for selected advanced laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma

Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2022 Jan;279(1):361-371. doi: 10.1007/s00405-021-06780-y. Epub 2021 Apr 17.


Purpose: The authors aimed to clarify the optimal treatment strategy and the indication of different treatments in managing advanced laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC).

Methods: A total of 9700 patients with advanced (T3-4aN0-3M0) LSCC who treated with (1) surgery alone, (2) surgery plus adjuvant radiation with or without chemotherapy (aCRT/RT), or (3) definitive CRT/RT was retrieved from the SEER database. The propensity score matching (PSM) was applied to balance confounding factors. Kaplan-Meier method and Cox proportional hazards regression were used to comparing the overall survival (OS) of patients.

Results: After optimal matching, 907 patients were screened from each treatment cohort. Kaplan-Meier and multivariate analyses presented that patients treated with surgery plus aCRT/CT had significantly longer OS than those treated with either surgery alone or CRT/RT, even after PSM. However, significant interactions were tested in treatment effects in stratified analyses of the primary subsite, T stage, N stage, and insurance status (PInteraction < 0.05 for all). Specifically, surgery plus aCRT/CT significantly improved the OS of patients with supraglottic, T4a, and N + tumors (P < 0.001 for all), while three treatment modalities achieved equal OS rates for patients with glottic, T3, and N0 tumors (P > 0.05 for all). Besides, supraglottic tumors presented a poorer prognosis than glottic subsite.

Conclusion: Current study suggests that surgery with aCRT/RT is the preferred initial therapy for patients with T4a tumors, whereas patients with T3 tumors could be treated with either surgery (followed by aCRT/RT if it presents N +) or definitive CRT/RT for achieving laryngeal preservation. More-intense treatment should be emphasized for advanced supraglottic cancer.

Keywords: Laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; Propensity score matching; SEER database; Treatment strategy.

MeSH terms

  • Head and Neck Neoplasms*
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Laryngectomy
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma of Head and Neck / therapy