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Secular trends in the survival of patients with laryngeal carcinoma, 1995-2007


Background — Recent reports suggest a decline over time in the survival of patients newly diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in spite of developments in treatment practices. Our study set out to determine whether the survival of patients with laryngeal cancer in Ontario has changed over time.

Methods — This population-based cohort study of patients diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in the province of Ontario between 1995 and 2007 used data extracted from linked provincial administrative and registry databases. Its main outcomes were overall survival, laryngectomy-free survival, and survival ratio relative to an age- and sex-matched general population.

Results — The 4298 patients newly diagnosed with laryngeal cancer during the period of interest were predominantly men (n = 3615, 84.1%) with glottic cancer (n = 2787, 64.8%); mean age in the group was 66 years (interquartile range: 59-74 years). Patient demographics did not significantly change over time. Overall, 5-year survival was 57.4%; laryngectomy-free survival was 45.4%. Comparing patients from three eras (1995-1998, 1999-2003, 2004-2007) and adjusting for age, sex, and comorbidity status, we observed no differences in overall survival or laryngectomy-free survival over time. The 5-year relative survival ratio for patients with laryngeal cancer compared with an age- and sex-matched group from the general population was 81.1% for glottic cancer and 44.5% for supraglottic cancer.

Conclusions — In patients with a new diagnosis of laryngeal cancer, overall and laryngectomy-free survival have remained unchanged since the mid-1990s. New methods to improve survival and the rate of laryngeal preservation in this patient population are needed.



MacNeil SD, Liu K, Shariff SZ, Thind A, Winquist E, Yoo J, Nichols A, Fung K, Hall S, Garg AX. Curr Oncol. 2015; 22(2):e85-99.

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Contributing ICES Scientists