Neither radiotherapy nor surgical resection has improved overall survival for patients with hypopharyngeal and laryngeal carcinoma in the past 30 years. Bonner and colleagues examined the rate of laryngeal preservation and laryngectomy-free survival in a phase 3 clinical trial comparing radiotherapy with cetuximab (CRT) vs radiotherapy alone. They found that patients with hypopharyngeal and laryngeal carcinoma treated with CRT had better laryngectomy-free survival at 2 and 3 years, but no difference was seen in laryngeal preservation. These results suggest that CRT or other molecular targeting agents may be promising treatments and warrant further evaluation. Saba and Shin provide an Invited Commentary.
Highlights. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2016;142(9):817. doi:10.1001/jamaoto.2015.1827