The authors conducted a multivariate analysis of the prognostic factors in 96 patients with early glottic cancer treated by radiation therapy. Of these, 73 had T1 and 23 had T2 tumor. The primary tumor was controlled in 82% of T1 and 74% of T2 lesions. Actuarial five-year survival rates were 87% for T1 and 74% for T2. Carcinoma of the anterior commissure associated with bilateral vocal cord involvement, subglottic tumor extension, persistent or recurrent laryngeal edema, and impaired cord mobility was found to adversely influence the prognosis. The data suggest that irradiation is the treatment of choice for glottic cancer limited to the vocal cords or with minimal extension to the anterior commissure or supraglottic larynx.