Treatment sequence and survival in locoregionally advanced hypopharyngeal cancer: A surveillance, epidemiology, and end results–based study

Colleen G. Hochfelder, Aileen P. McGinn, Vikas Mehta, Enrico Castellucci, Rafi Kabarriti, Thomas J. Ow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: The objective of this study was to examine the association between modality of primary treatment and survival among patients with locoregionally advanced hypopharyngeal cancer. Study Design: Retrospective cohort. Methods: There were 2,328 adult patients diagnosed with stage III or IV, M0, hypopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma identified within the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registry (years 2004–2015). Patients who received primary chemoradiation (CRT) were compared to those who received surgery with either adjuvant radiation therapy (S + RT), or surgery with adjuvant CRT (S + CRT). The latter primary surgery group (S + Adj) was also analyzed collectively. Overall survival (OS) and disease-specific survival (DSS) were assessed using Kaplan-Meier analyses and Cox regression models using a propensity score to adjust for factors associated with treatment allocation. Results: Median survival was 20 months (interquartile range [IQR] = 10–45) with CRT and 25 months (IQR = 10–47) with S + Adj (P <.001). S + Adj had higher-grade cancers and more advanced T staging (P <.001). S + CRT was associated with longer OS (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.70, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.59-0.84) and DSS (HR = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.54-0.82) after adjusting for age, gender, race, subsite, grade, and stage. S + RT was associated with longer DSS than CRT (HR = 0.75, 95% CI: 0.57-0.99) but not OS (HR = 0.82, 95% CI: 0.66-1.04). S + Adj was associated with longer DSS in T1/T2 disease (P =.04) and T4 disease (P =.0003), but did not reach significance among patients with T3 disease (P =.06). Conclusions: Among patients with advanced hypopharyngeal cancer reported in the SEER database, treatment with S + Adj was associated with longer DSS and OS compared to those treated with primary CRT. Level of Evidence: 2b Laryngoscope, 130:2611–2621, 2020.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2611-2621
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Hypopharynx
  • hypopharyngeal neoplasms
  • laryngectomy
  • pharyngectomy
  • squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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