Improvements in survival and disparities for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer

Blake Joseph LeBlanc, Runhua Shi, Vikas Mehta, Glenn Mills, Federico Ampil, Cherie Ann O. Nathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


IMPORTANCE: Laryngeal cancer survival rates have declined over the past 2 decades. Primary surgical therapy may increase survival rates in advanced-stage tumors. OBJECTIVE: To compare survival outcomes for initial surgical treatment of advanced-stage primary tumors in the Louisiana health system with outcomes in the National Cancer Database (NCDB). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Retrospective analysis was conducted at an academic tertiary referral hospital. Patients diagnosed as having laryngeal carcinoma between 1998 and 2007 were identified via a tumor registry. Louisiana State University Health-Shreveport (LSU Health) data and national data from 2000 to 2010 were obtained from the NCDB of the American College of Surgeons. INTERVENTIONS: Treatment of laryngeal cancer. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Age, sex, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, laryngeal subsite, stage, primary treatment modality, and observed survival were analyzed and compared. RESULTS: A total of 165 patients treated at LSU Health met the inclusion criteria. One hundred seventeen (70.91%) presented with advanced-stage (III/IV) disease, compared with 46.67% nationwide (P < .01). For stage IV disease our 5-year survival rate was 55.54% (95% CI, 43.35%-66.11%) compared with 31.60% (95% CI, 30.40%-32.90%) nationally (P < .05). Our proportion of uninsured patients was 23.73% vs 5.05% of patients nationally (P < .001), and our patients traveled further distances for care with 60.47% traveling 50 miles or more, compared with 15.87% nationally (P < .001). Sixty-four of the patients with advanced-stage disease (54.70%) underwent primary surgical therapy to include total laryngectomy. Data from the NCDB indicate that the rate of laryngectomy declined from 40% to 60% in the 1980s to 32% in 2007. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Louisiana State University Health-Shreveport treated more uninsured patients with advanced-stage laryngeal cancer compared with national data but demonstrated higher survival rates for those with advanced-stage disease. The results also demonstrate that we have continued a high rate of primary surgical therapy for advanced-stage disease, despite the national trend toward organ preservation. We believe that upfront laryngectomy may explain our higher survival rates for advanced-stage laryngeal cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
JournalJAMA Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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