Combined chemoradiotherapy with local microwave hyperthermia for treatment of T3N0 laryngeal carcinoma: a retrospective study with long-term follow-up

The purpose of our study was to test the efficacy and toxicity of hyperthermia in conjunction with chemoradiotherapy for T3N0 laryngeal cancer. From 1997-2006, 25 patients diagnosed with T3N0 laryngeal carcinoma who denied laryngectomy were selected for this retrospective study. Patients received a total dose of 70 Gy (2 Gy per fraction, 5 days per week) in combination with 6 weekly sessions of hyperthermia, in addition to weekly cisplatin chemotherapy. The hyperthermia device was operated as a 433 MHz microwave heating with water loaded and water-cooled waveguides. The temperature was monitored subcutaneously in the skin under the aperture of the waveguide. The median follow-up was 60 months, while 23 of 25 patients (92%) presented complete response to treatment. The two patients that did not respond to thermoradiotherapy underwent total laryngectomy, and during follow-up were alive and free of disease. According to EORTC/RTOG criteria, toxicity was mild: three patients (12%) presented grade III, eight (32%) presented grade II and 14 (56%) presented grade I acute skin toxicity. Grade III laryngeal late toxicity (vocal cord malfunction due to severe oedema) was noted in two patients (8%) at 6-8 months post-thermo-chemoradiotherapy. Tmin was correlated (Spearman rho, p < 0.05) with response to treatment as well as with acute skin toxicity and laryngeal function. When a patient with T3N0 laryngeal carcinoma denies laryngectomy, an alternative treatment is combined thermo-chemoradiotherapy which seems to be effective and generally tolerable with radiation-induced skin toxicity and/or late side effects. A larger patient cohort is needed to confirm these results.