A Multidimensional Study of Vocal Function Following Radiation Therapy for Laryngeal Cancers

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Radiation therapy (XRT) has proven to be an effective curative modality in the treatment of laryngeal cancers. However, XRT also has deleterious effects on vocal function.


To demonstrate the multidimensional nature of deficits in vocal function as a result of radiation therapy for laryngeal cancer.

Study Design:

Cohort study.


Vocal function parameters were chosen from the 5 domains of voice assessment to complete a multidimensional assessment battery. Adults irradiated (XRT group) for laryngeal cancers were compared to a control group of individuals with no history of head and neck cancers or radiation therapy. The control group was matched in age, sex, and pack years of smoking.


Eighteen participants were recruited for the study. The XRT group demonstrated significantly worse clinical values as compared to the control group across select parameters in the each of the 5 domains of voice assessment.


Radiation therapy for laryngeal cancers results in multidimensional deficits in vocal function. Notably, these deficits persist long term. In the present study sample, multidimensional deficits were persistent 2 to 7 years following completion of XRT. The observed multidimensional persistent vocal difficulties highlight the importance of vocal rehabilitation in the irradiated larynx cancer population.

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