Cancer of the larynx in the intermediate/advanced stage still presents a major challenge in terms of controlling the disease and preserving the organ. Supratracheal partial laryngectomy (STPL) has been described as a function-sparing surgical procedure for laryngeal cancer with sub-glottic extension. The aim of the present multi-institutional study was to focus on the indications and contraindications, both local and general, for this type of surgery based on the long-term oncological and functional results. We analysed the clinical outcomes of 142 patients with laryngeal cancer staged pT2-pT4a who underwent STPL. Five-year overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), disease-free survival (DFS) and loco-regional control (LRC) rates were: glottic pT2 [71.4%, 95.2%, 76.0%, 76.0%], glottic-transglottic pT3 [85.3%, 91.1%, 86.4%, 88.7%], and pT4a [73.2%, 88.1%, 52.7%, 60.7%], respectively. DFS and LRC prevalences at 5 years were greatly affected by pT4a staging. Five-year laryngeal function preservation (LFP) and laryngectomy free survival (LFS) were: glottic pT2 [90.9%, 95.2%], glottic-transglottic pT3 [84.4%, 93.1%], and pT4a [63.7%, 75.5%], respectively, being affected by pT staging and age 65 ≥ years (LFP 54.1%). As a result of Type III open horizontal partial laryngectomies (OPHLs) (supratracheal laryngectomies), the typical subsites of local failure inside the larynx were the mucosa at the passage between the remnant larynx and trachea, the mucosa at the level of the posterior commissure and the contralateral cricoarytenoid unit as well as outside the larynx at the level of the outer surface of the remnant larynx. For patients with glottic or transglottic tumours and with sub-glottic extension, the choice of STPL can be considered to be effective, not only in prognostic terms, but also in terms of functional results.
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