October 1989

Carcinoma of the Tonsillar FossaAn Update

Author Affiliations

From the Head and Neck Service, Department of Surgery, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York. Dr J. Spiro is now with the University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington.

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115(10):1186-1189. doi:10.1001/archotol.1989.01860340040013

• A retrospective analysis of 162 patients with carcinoma of the tonsillar fossa treated between 1969 and 1983 was undertaken. Of these patients, 117 were previously untreated; 11 had stage I, carcinoma, 24 had stage II, 40 had stage III, and 42 had stage IV. Combination therapy was utilized in 29% of patients with stage II disease, 40% of patients with stage III disease, and 67% of patients with stage IV disease. The three-year determinate "cure" rates were 89%, 83%, 58%, and 49% for stages I through IV, respectively. Only 22% of the previously treated patients were salvaged. Complications occurred in 36% of the previously treated patients and 18% of the previously untreated patients. Since our previous report, survival has improved, whereas operative mortality has decreased. We are unable to demonstrate a significant survival advantage when surgery and radiotherapy were usedincombination.

(Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1989;115:1186-1189)