Larynx preservation treatments result in low instance of severe voice disability, nutritional dysfunction

Feb 25, 2010

Head and neck cancer patients receiving induction chemotherapy followed by radiation to preserve their larynx have a low-risk of severe voice disability and almost half experienced no eating or swallowing problems, according to a first of its kind study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.

Total removal with permanent tracheotomy is the current standard treatment for patients with cancer of the larynx. While larynx preservation using chemotherapy followed by radiation is an effective treatment, the functional results are often not reported and the quality of life for these patients unknown.

Researchers at the Hopital Bretonneau in Tours, France, the Centre Hospitalier in Lorient, France, the Centre Paul Papin in Angers, France, the Institut Gustave Roussy in Villejuif, France, and the Institut Sainte Catherine in Avignon, France, observed 213 patients who received induction chemotherapy using Ciplatin and 5FU without (PF) or with (TPF) followed by radiation and evaluated the quality of the voice, the nutritional function and the quality of life.

After 61 months of follow up, the laryngo-esophageal dysfunction free-survival was 28 percent when averaging the PF arm and the TPF arm. Voice disability was low for 57 percent of patients, with only 15 percent experiencing severe voice disability. Forty percent of patients had no eating or swallowing problems at all and 8 percent required a feeding tube.

"For patients receiving treatment to their larynx, it is important to preserve the organ, but it is more important to preserve the function of this organ," Gilles Calais, M.D., lead author of the study and a radiation oncologist at the Hopital Bretonneau in Tours, France, said. "This is the first study that analyzes not only the preservation rate but also the preservation of the function of the larynx and the esophagus."

Explore further: Six percent of colorectal cancer found to be interval tumors

Provided by American Society for Radiation Oncology

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Physicians target the genes of lung, colon cancers

8 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—University of Florida physicians and researchers are collaborating to map the genes of different types of cancer, and then deliver medication to attack cancer at its source.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Researchers see hospitalization records as additional tool

Comparing hospitalization records with data reported to local boards of health presents a more accurate way to monitor how well communities track disease outbreaks, according to a paper published April 16 in the journal PLOS ON ...

Ebola virus in Africa outbreak is a new strain

Scientists say that the Ebola (ee-BOH'-lah) virus that has killed scores of people this year in Guinea (GIH'-nee) is a new strain. That means it did not spread there from outbreaks in some other African nations.