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Definitive Radiotherapy for T1–2 Hypopharyngeal Cancer: A Single-Institution Experience

      Purpose

      To analyze the outcome in T1–2 hypopharyngeal cancer (HPC) patients treated with definitive radiotherapy (RT).

      Patients and Methods

      A total of 103 patients with T1–2 hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma treated with radical RT between March 2000 and June 2008 at our institution were analyzed. Pre-RT neck dissection (ND) was performed in 26 patients with advanced neck disease. Chemotherapy was used concurrently with RT in 14 patients. Sixty patients were associated with synchronous or metachronous malignancies. The median follow-up for surviving patients was 41 months.

      Results

      The 3-year overall and cause-specific survival rates were 70% and 79%, respectively. The 3-year local control rates were 87% for T1 and 83% for T2 disease. The ultimate local control rate was 89%, including 7 patients in whom salvage was successful. The ultimate local control rate with laryngeal preservation was 82%. Tumors of the medial wall of the pyriform sinus tended to have lower control rates compared with tumors of the lateral or posterior pharyngeal wall. Among patients with N2b–3 disease, the 3-year regional control rates were 74% for patients with pre-RT ND and 40% for patients without ND. The 3-year locoregional control rates were as follows: Stage I, 100%; Stage II, 84%; Stage III, 67%; Stage IVA, 43%; Stage IVB, 67%. Forty-two patients developed disease recurrence, with 29 (70%) patients developing recurrence within the first year. Of the 103 patients, 6 developed late complications higher than or equal to Grade 3.

      Conclusions

      Definitive RT accomplished a satisfactory local control rate and contributed to organ preservation.
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