Laryngeal Cancer

Management of Advanced Laryngeal Cancer

Patrick Sheahan


Squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx continues to be the commonest head and neck cancer in many Western countries. The larynx plays a key role for many essential functions, including breathing, voice production, airway protection, and swallowing. The goals of laryngeal cancer treatment are thus to provide best possible oncologic control, while optimizing functional outcomes. In recent decades, the treatment paradigm for advanced laryngeal cancer has shifted from one of primary surgery (total laryngectomy) as gold standard, toward non-surgical organ-preserving treatment using radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy. However, concerns have emerged regarding functional outcomes after chemoradiotherapy, as well as possible decreased overall survival in patients with laryngeal cancer. The purpose of the present review is to review surgical and non-surgical options for treatment of advanced laryngeal cancer, as well as the evidence supporting each of these.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2014;5(2):e0015