To assess the impact of margin status on disease-free survival, overall survival, and organ preservation in early glottic cancer treated by endoscopic laser surgery.
Prospective nonrandomized study.
Tertiary referral center.
A total of 274 patients with untreated (possibly biopsied) cTis, cT1a/b, cT2, cN0 glottic cancer; adequate exposure of the glottic region; no contraindications to general anesthesia; and the ability to give informed consent.
European Laryngological Society laser cordectomy. Patients with negative margins (>1 mm) were followed, patients with close margins (≤1 mm) or 1 positive margin (tumor on margin) had another operation, and patients with more than 1 positive margin had postoperative radiotherapy. Median follow-up was 58 months.
Main Outcome Measures
Eight-year disease-free survival, 5-year overall survival, and organ preservation rate.
Margins were negative in 180 patients, close in 40, and positive in 54. A second laser resection was performed in 36 of 94 patients with close or positive margins. Radiotherapy was administered to 36 patients. Patients with close or positive margins who did not undergo further treatment had a greater recurrence risk (hazard ratio, 2.53; 95% confidence interval, 0.97-6.59, P = .06) than did those with negative margins, mainly owing to relapses in 5 of the 8 protocol breakers with positive margins not treated further. Eight-year relapse-free survival was 88.2%, 5-year overall survival was 90.9%, and the larynx was preserved in 97.1%.
Laser removal of early glottic cancer is oncologically adequate with margins greater than 1 mm from the tumor edge. Positive margins require further treatment; close margins may require further treatment depending on tumor characteristics.