Background: Hypopharyngeal carcinoma (HPC) is a rare head and neck cancer which poses many therapeutic challenges. There is limited evidence regarding the outcomes of HPC treatment in Iran.
Method: In this retrospective cohort study, we evaluated patients treated with chemoradiation or radiation alone, between 2007 and 2016 in the radiation oncology ward of a cancer institute affiliated to Tehran University of Medical Sciences. The design of the study was reviewed and approved by the local institutional review board (code: 86100142). All patients underwent definitive radiotherapy with or without concurrent or sequential chemotherapy. We assessed the two-year overall survival (OS) as the primary outcome. The progression-free survival (PFS) was our secondary outcome.
Results: We studied 40 patients whose median age was 58 years. Thirty-seven patients were stage 3 or 4 while the most common stage was T3N1-2, observed in 35% of the cases. The most common site of involvement was pyriform sinus (47.5%). The two-year OS rate was 29%. The two-year PFS was 22%. In the univariate analysis, N0-1 vs. N 2-3 and Stage 2 vs. Stage 3-4 were significant predictors of OS. In addition, distant metastasis had almost a significant association with lower OS.
Conclusion: The outcome of locally advanced HPC was not promising using 3DCRT alone. It is necessary to implement dramatic changes in the management of these patients to achieve better outcomes.