To evaluate the outcome of surgery for cancer of the external auditory canal and relate this to the Pittsburgh staging system used both on squamous cell carcinoma and non–squamous cell carcinoma.
Retrospective case series of all patients who had surgery between 1979 and 2000. Median follow-up was 47 months (range, 2-148 months). Data on age, sex, symptoms, TNM status, histopathological diagnosis, surgery, adjunctive therapy, sequelae, recurrence, and status at follow-up were obtained.
An ear, nose, and throat department in an ambulatory and hospitalized care center.
Ten women and 10 men with previously untreated primary cancer. Median age at diagnosis was 67 years (range, 31-87 years). Survival data included 18 patients with at least 2 years of follow-up or recurrence.
Local canal resection or partial temporal bone resection.
Main Outcome Measure
Half of the patients had squamous cell carcinoma. Thirteen of the patients had stage I tumor (65%), 2 had stage II (10%), 2 had stage III (10%), and 3 had stage IV tumor (15%). Twelve patients were cured. All patients with stage I or II cancers were cured except 1 with adenoid cystic carcinoma. No patients with stage III or IV cancer were cured. All recurrences developed in patients with incompletely resected tumors.
The outcome was related to the stage of disease, suggesting that the Pittsburgh staging system is useful also in patients with non–squamous cell carcinoma. Patients with early cancer benefited from a less aggressive surgical approach, while survival was poor in patients with advanced cancer with incompletely resected tumors despite adjuvant radiotherapy.