To the Editor.—We read with concern the article in the December Archives (1981;107:746-751) by Hintz et al advocating a "watchful waiting" policy for in situ carcinoma of the vocal cords. The brief editorial comment that accompanied the article summarizes some of our concerns, but we believe the policy suggested in this article is hazardous and cannot be supported on the basis of other reports, nor, indeed, by the authors' own results.
Although in situ carcinoma of the vocal cords is a heterogeneous disease, several centers have now reported five-year disease control rates of about 85%, following adequate radiation therapy. Harwood et al1 reported a control rate of 85% (40/47); Elman et al2 reported a control rate of 85% (59/69), and Pêne and Fletcher3 reported a control rate of 84% (67/79). Hintz and his colleagues achieved a primary control rate of 72% (13/18), which is not inferior statistically
CUMMINGS BJ, FREDRICKSON JM. Vocal Cord Carcinoma. Arch Otolaryngol. 1983;109(1):62. doi:10.1001/archotol.1983.00800150066014
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