To assess local control of early-stage glottic cancer by laser cordectomy in comparison with previously published external partial laryngectomy series and to determine the relevance of histological margins in glottic cancers excised with laser cordectomy.
Retrospective review of laser cordectomy for carcinoma in situ (Tis) and stage T1 glottic cancer from January 1991 to January 2004.
Fifty-two patients with Tis or T1 glottic cancer.
Endoscopic laser cordectomy, classified using the system proposed by the European Laryngeal Society Working Committee.
Main Outcome Measures
Local control after initial surgery and after salvage compared with a published historical control group, according to the type of cordectomy performed and the histological margins of the removed specimen.
Sixteen patients with Tis, 30 with T1a tumors, and 6 with T1b tumors were followed up for an average of 38 months. Type I cordectomy was the most common procedure used to treat Tis, and type II and type III were the most common for treating T1a and T1b tumors. Of 6 recurrences, 4 were treated with laser cordectomy and 2 were treated with external partial laryngectomy. The rate of laryngeal preservation was 100%. There were 3 recurrences despite histologically clear margins. Three (17%) of 18 patients with suspicious margins developed recurrences. The rate of local control with single intervention (46 [89%] of 52) was lower than with partial external laryngectomy. However, 46 (89%) of 52 patients ultimately had less tissue removed by laser than would have been removed by external partial laryngectomy.
Laser cordectomy provides excellent local control and laryngeal preservation. Close follow-up of patients with positive or suspicious margins is an alternative to further routine treatment.