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 ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 493-497

Radical radiotherapy for carcinoma of the larynx in the elderly: Functional and oncological outcomes from a tertiary cancer care center in India


1 Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita University, Kochi, Kerala, India
2 Department of Medical Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita University, Kochi, Kerala, India
3 Department of Radiation Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita University, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Deepak Balasubramanian
Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita University, Kochi, Kerala
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_321_17

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INTRODUCTION: It is estimated that around 10% of all head and neck cancer patients in India are aged over 70 years. Elderly patients are often subjected to palliative or inadequate treatment for head and neck cancers in spite of being candidates for curative intent therapy. In this study we evaluated our use of radical radiotherapy in carcinoma larynx for patients over seventy years of age to determine morbidity, likelihood of completing therapy, functional and oncological outcomes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: 132 patients of squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx treated between 2005-2015 at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi who were seventy years of age or older were included. The endpoint for analysis was overall survival. Survival curves were generated using Kaplan Meier method and univariable analysis was performed using log rank test. RESULTS: The median age of patients was 77 years (range 70-102). All patients (100%) completed radiotherapy with 6 (5%) requiring treatment breaks. All patients had at least minor (grade I/II) toxicities. Grade III toxicities were seen in 10 (8%) of patients. No grade IV reactions or treatment related deaths occurred. When a univariate analysis was performed for determinants of major toxicities with age range, performance status, smoking, number of co-morbidities or TNM stage, no determinants were statistically significant. 2-year disease free survival for stage I, II, III and IV was 100%, 98%, 80% and 64% respectively, and the 2-year overall survival for all four stages was 100%. CONCLUSION: Patients over seventy years tolerate radical radiotherapy for treatment of laryngeal cancer. In spite of minor toxicities, all patients completed treatment and had good oncological outcomes. Patients with stage III/IV unfit for concomitant chemotherapy administration treated with radiotherapy alone had a good disease free survival. Curative intent therapy should not be withheld from elderly patients on the basis of age.






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