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CO(2) laser surgery in the treatment of glottic cancer.

Head & Neck 2005 July
BACKGROUND: The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of CO(2) laser endoscopic surgery in the treatment of glottic carcinoma limited to the true vocal cords or involving the adjacent regions.

METHODS: Seven hundred nineteen patients (687 men and 32 women; mean age, 60.4 years; range, 33-86 years) with glottic carcinoma (432 T1N0M0, 236 T2N0M0, 51 T3N0M0) underwent CO(2) laser surgery (mean follow-up, 5 years; range, 2-17 years). Statistical comparison was carried out with Wilcoxon test, considering p < .05 the minimum significance value.

RESULTS: Overall actuarial survival, adjusted actuarial survival, and percentage of patients with no evidence of disease at 5 years were 85%, 97%, and 85%, respectively, in patients with T1a disease; 84%, 96%, and 83% in those with T1b disease; 77%, 86%, and 61% in those with T2 unilateral tumors; 77%, 88%, and 55% in those with T2 bilateral tumors; and 64%, 72%, and 60% in those with T3 disease. The statistical analysis showed the following: significant differences in the comparison of T1 versus T2 and T2 versus T3 tumors (p < .01), with the exception of no evidence of disease in the comparison of T2 versus T3 (p > .05); and no significant differences in the comparison of unilateral and bilateral tumors (p > .05). Actuarial local control, actuarial nodal control, and actuarial distant metastasis control at 5 years were 85%, 98%, and 99%, respectively, in patients with T1 disease; and 66%, 82%, and 91% in patients with T2 disease; and 66%, 83%, and 95% in patients with T3 disease. The laryngeal preservation rate was 97.3% in the T1 group, 82.5% in the T2 group, and 80.5% in T3 group.

CONCLUSIONS: CO(2) laser endoscopic surgery is effective in the treatment of glottic carcinoma not infiltrating the cartilaginous skeleton; the results achieved are competitive with those of open conservative operations, if we take into account the possibilities afforded by salvage surgery and the rate of laryngeal preservation achieved in the study patients.

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