Therapeutic Management of Pyriform Sinus Cancer: Results of a Single-Center Study of 122 Patients

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To analyze the survival rate of a nonselected pyriform sinus cancer population.

Study Design

Case series with chart review.


University hospital.

Subjects and Methods

A total of 122 patients were included in this study covering the 2002-2008 period. All patients had squamous cell carcinoma originating from the pyriform sinus. Survival and prognostic factors were analyzed.


The 3- and 5-year overall survival rates were 39.7% and 2.4%, respectively. The 3- and 5-year survival rates without recurrence were 34% and 27%, respectively. The median survival rates by UICC stage were as follows: stage 1 and 2 patients, 60 months; stage 3, 40 months; stage 4, 19 months. Stage 4 patients had a lower median survival rate than other stages (P = .039). The 5-year survival rate was 46% for patients having T3-T4 operable cancers treated by surgery vs 45% for patients treated by laryngeal conservation protocol (not significant). The 5-year survival rate for patients having nonoperable T4 cancers was 17.2%. The 3- and 5-year overall survival rates of N0 patients was significantly higher than N1 patients (P = .042). N2 and N3 patients had 100% 5-year mortality.


This study showed that overall survival and therapeutic management depend on the initial stage of pyriform sinus cancer, notably on the N status. In particular, nonoperable T4 pyriform sinus cancer and N2 and N3 patients had a very poor prognosis. A laryngeal conservation protocol seemed as effective as surgical management in terms of survival.

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