Characteristics and outcome of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma in young adults

Yuval Nachalon*, Ohad Cohen, Uri Alkan, Jacob Shvero, Aron Popovtzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laryngeal carcinoma rarely occurs in the young adult population. Therefore, the optimal treatment for this age group is unclear, specifically regarding organ preservation treatment. In order to assess the distinct characteristics of laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in young adults and describe the effect of treatment on survival, a retrospective chart review of all patients aged <40 years, who were treated in a tertiary referral center for laryngeal SCC between January 1960 and December 2013, was performed. Patients who were treated prior to and following the Veterans study, representing an arbitrary point which started the organ preservation era, were compared. A total of 29 patients (male:female ratio, 2.6:1) were identified. The mean age at diagnosis was 35±5 years and 17 patients (59%) were smokers. In total, 12 (41%) of patients were stage I, 4 (14%) were stage II, 8 (28%) were stage III and 5 (17%) were stage IV. Glottic tumors were present in 20 (69%) of patients and supraglottic tumors in 6 (21%); the site of tumor origin could not be determined in 3 (10%) of patients. Surgery was performed in 11 (38%) of patients, radiation in 21 (72%) and chemotherapy in 5 (17%). A comparison between patients treated prior to and following the Veterans study demonstrated a 2-year higher laryngectomy-free survival rate of 53% and 78%, respectively (P=0.299). The 2-year disease-free survival rate was 93% for patients who were treated prior to the Veterans study and 71% for patients who were treated after (P=0.001), with no significant change in overall survival (P=0.413). The results suggest that the characteristics and behavior of laryngeal carcinoma in young adults is similar to older adults. Higher rates of 2-year laryngectomy-free survival were noted in patients treated following the organ preservation era with no significant difference in survival compared with patients who were treated before.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1393-1397
Number of pages5
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2017


  • Laryngectomy
  • Larynx
  • Squamous cell carcinoma
  • Survival
  • Young


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