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Otorinolaringologia 2017 March;67(1):26-36

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4938.16.02096-5

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Hypopharyngeal cancer: cure or palliation

Juliet E. MEIR, Peter T. DZIEGIELEWSKI

1 Department of Otolaryngology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA; 2 University of Florida Health Cancer Center, Gainesville, FL, USA


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Treatment guidelines for advanced hypopharyngeal cancer lack universal standardization. Current guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) divide advanced hypopharyngeal cancer into four treatment platforms: pharyngectomy with total laryngectomy and neck dissection, induction chemotherapy (more or less conventional surgery with postoperative radiotherapy), concurrent systemic therapy/radiotherapy, or multimodality clinical trials.1 When considering a patient-specific treatment approach, clinicians strive to balance survival with functional outcomes and quality of life. While survival is the primary goal of hypopharyngeal cancer treatment, many patients are left questioning is the saved life worth living? As technology advances, more cancer treatment centers are focusing treatment paradigms on maximizing a high-quality, functional life in cancer patients. This review serves to highlight current treatment guidelines and practices, clinical trials, novel treatment approaches, treatment outcomes as well as future directions in the treatment of hypopharyngeal cancer.


KEY WORDS: Hypopharyngeal neoplasms - Survival - Organ preservation - Laryngectomy - Radiotherapy

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