Aim: The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes, patterns of failure and laryngeal preservation rates in patients with T1N0 glottic cancer treated with surgery or radiotherapy.
Materials/methods: Retrospective study of T1N0 glottic cancer patients treated in our institution between January 2007 and December 2017. Histologically proven squamous cell carcinoma patients, treated with upfront cordectomy/partial laryngectomy (S group) or radiotherapy (RT group) were included. Elective treatment of the neck was not permitted. Local failure (LF), disease-free survival (DFS), ultimate disease-free survival (UDFS), laryngectomy-free survival (LFS), disease-specific mortality (DSM) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated.
Results: Two hundred and one patients were eligible (172 S group, 29 RT group), with a median follow-up of 38.8 months. Overall, 33 (16%) patients had a recurrence, 30 (17%) in the S group and 3 (10%) in the RT group. Local failure was the predominant site of failure (28 S, 2 RT). Overall, of all those that were salvaged, 17 (8%) underwent total laryngectomy (15 S, 2 RT). There was no significant difference in the 5-year cumulative incidence of LF (20.8% S, 8.1% RT, p = 0.138), 5-y LFS (85.0% vs. 91.7%, p = 0.809), 5-y DFS (67.5% vs. 82.1%, p = 0.343), 5-y UDFS (82.5% vs. 90.3%, p = 0.647) and 5-y OS (84.5% vs. 90.3%, p = 0.892). Multivariate analysis showed no correlation between initial treatment and the analyzed outcomes.
Conclusion: Primary surgery or radiotherapy were similar first line options, since they do not differ in all outcomes. Patients' and physician's preferences must be considered when choosing first treatment.