The Outcomes of Surgery and Chemoradiotherapy for Temporal Bone Cancer

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We aimed to evaluate the prognostic factors and efficacy of treatment modalities for patients with temporal bone cancer, and to determine if definitive chemoradiotherapy (CRT) for advanced-stage disease can provide a substitute for highly invasive surgeries.

Study Design:

Retrospective case series.


Tertiary referral center.


Sixty-six patients with previously untreated squamous cell carcinoma of the temporal bone treated with curative intent between April 1997 and March 2015.


Surgery alone, radiotherapy (RT) alone, surgery followed by RT or definitive CRT.

Main Outcome Measure:

The overall survival (OS) rate.


The 5-year OS rate for each T classification was 100% for T1, 76.2% for T2, 55.6% for T3, and 36.7% for T4. Univariable and multivariable analysis showed that T classification was an independent predictor of the OS rate (hazard ratio 5.66; 95% confidence interval 1.51–27.0; p = 0.015). Analysis by treatment modality revealed that the 5-year OS rate for patients with T1–2 was 100% for surgery and 81.3% for RT alone. The rate for patients with T3–4 was 52.1% for definitive CRT and 55.6% for surgery followed by RT with or without chemotherapy.


Patients with T1–2 benefited from surgical intervention without significant morbidity or mortality. Our findings also suggested that definitive CRT might be appropriate as the first-line treatment for T3–4, especially in cases with unresectable tumors.

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