Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 23, Issue 6, pp 2054–2061 | Cite as

Comparison of Oncological and Functional Outcomes between Initial Surgical versus Non-Surgical Treatments for Hypopharyngeal Cancer

  • Jeon Yeob Jang
  • Eun-Hye Kim
  • Jungkyu Cho
  • Jae-Hoon Jung
  • Dongryul Oh
  • Yong Chan Ahn
  • Young-Ik Son
  • Han-Sin Jeong
Head and Neck Oncology



Whether to administer surgical or non-surgical treatments (radiation or chemoradiation therapies) for the initial management of hypopharyngeal cancer (HPC) remains a topic of debate. Herein, we explored the differences between the two approaches in terms of oncological and functional outcomes in 332 HPC patients.


The primary endpoint was survival probability; secondary outcomes included post-treatment speech and swallowing functions and necessity of additional surgical procedures for salvage or complication management. Cox proportional hazard models using clinical variables were constructed to identify significant factors.


The 2- and 5-year overall survival (OS) rates in all patients were 64.9 and 40.9 %, respectively. In early-stage HPC patients (N = 52), initial surgery ± radiation therapy (RT) or RT alone yielded similar oncological (60 % 5-year OS rate) and functional outcomes. As for resectable advanced-stage cancers (N = 177), initial surgery ± RT/chemoradiation therapy (SRC) and initial concurrent chemoradiation therapy (iCRT) resulted in similar 45–50 % 5-year OS rates. After sacrificing the larynx, 60 % of SRC patients recovered their speaking ability through voice prosthesis, which was less than the rate for iCRT patients (76.6 %; p = 0.008). Additional surgical interventions were required in 28.0–28.6 % of patients in both groups; however, 60 % of patients undergoing additional surgery in the iCRT group received multiple (two or more) surgical interventions (p = 0.029).


Our data revealed similar oncological outcomes, but different functional outcomes, between initial surgical and non-surgical treatments for HPC. In resectable advanced-stage HPC, iCRT resulted in better verbal communication outcomes than SRC; however, more iCRT patients required multiple surgical interventions during clinical courses.


Overall Survival National Comprehensive Cancer Network Verbal Communication Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status Voice Prosthesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was supported by the National Research Foundation, Grant Numbers 2012R1A1A2040866, 2014R1A1A2055006, and 2015R1D1A1A09056771 (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Korea).


Jeon Yeob Jang, Eun-Hye Kim, Jungkyu Cho, Jae-Hoon Jung, Dongryul Oh, Yong Chan Ahn, Young-Ik Son, and Han-Sin Jeong have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOC 479 kb)
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Supplementary material 2 (DOC 29 kb)
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Supplementary material 3 (DOC 90 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeon Yeob Jang
    • 1
  • Eun-Hye Kim
    • 2
  • Jungkyu Cho
    • 2
  • Jae-Hoon Jung
    • 3
  • Dongryul Oh
    • 4
  • Yong Chan Ahn
    • 4
  • Young-Ik Son
    • 2
  • Han-Sin Jeong
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Biomedical Research InstitutePusan National University Hospital, Pusan National University School of MedicineBusanKorea
  2. 2.Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck SurgerySamsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulKorea
  3. 3.Department of Otorhinolaryngology–Head and Neck SurgeryPusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Pusan National University School of MedicineYangsanKorea
  4. 4.Department of Radiation Oncology, Samsung Medical CenterSungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulKorea

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