Laryngeal Cancer Treatment at Penn


Different treatments are available for those with laryngeal cancer. Some treatments are called standard. This means they are the currently used treatments. Some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments.

When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. You may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment, while others are available during or after treatment.
Treatment options vary depending on your situation including the stage of the cancer and other factors that may be present.

Talk with your team about the approach that is best for you. Treatment for laryngeal cancer should be planned by doctors with expertise in treating head and neck cancer.

Standard treatments for laryngealcancer offered at Penn

Surgery

Surgery (removing the cancer in an operation) is a common treatment for all stages of laryngeal cancer.

TORS – TransOral Robotic Surgery

TORS is a minimally invasive, robotically-assisted surgical approach to removing tumors of the mouth, throat and voice box. It dramatically improves the treatment of head and neck cancers. Using this approach, tumors can be completely removed while preserving speech, swallowing, and other key functions, thus maintaining quality of life.

Drs. Gregory S. Weinstein and Bert W. O’Malley, Jr., head and neck surgeons, at Penn Medicine founded the world’s first TransOral Robotic Surgery (TORS) program. They developed and researched the TORS approach for a variety of robotic surgical neck approaches for tumors (benign and malignant) of the mouth, voice box, tonsil, tongue and other parts of the throat.

Since 2005, over 350 Penn patients have participated in the world’s first prospective clinical trials of TORS. These research trials comprise the largest and most comprehensive studies to date. Based on these studies, in 2009, the Food and Drug Administration cleared TransOral Robotic Surgery for treatment of tumors of the mouth, throat and voice box.

Even if the doctor removes all the cancer that can be seen at the time of the surgery, some patients may be given chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery to kill any cancer cells that are left. Treatment given after the surgery, to lower the risk that the cancer will come back, is called adjuvant therapy.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy is a cancer treatment that uses high-energy x-rays or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells or keep them from growing.

  • External radiation (or external beam radiation) comes from a machine outside the body. The machine directs high-energy rays at the cancer and some normal surrounding tissue. It is the most often used radiation treatment. The machine used to deliver the high-energy rays is called a linear accelerator.
  • Three-dimensional (3-D) conformal radiation treatment is a type of external beam radiation. It uses computers to allow doctors to more precisely target a tumor with radiation beams (using width, height, and depth).
  • Intensity-modulated radiation treatment (IMRT). IMRT is a type of 3-D conformal radiation treatment that uses radiation beams (usually x-rays) of
    various intensities to give different doses of radiation, at the same time, to small
    areas of tissue. This allows the delivery of higher doses of radiation to the tumor and lower doses to nearby healthy tissue.
  • Proton Therapy is the most precise form of radiation treatment for cancer possible, while minimizing damage to healthy tissue and surrounding organs.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping the cells from dividing. When chemotherapy is taken by mouth or injected into a vein or muscle, the drugs enter the bloodstream and can reach cancer cells throughout the body (systemic chemotherapy). When chemotherapy is placed directly into the spinal column, an organ, or a body cavity such as the abdomen, the drugs mainly affect cancer cells in those areas (regional chemotherapy). The way the chemotherapy is given depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated.

New types of treatment, are being tested in clinical trials at Penn. Patients can enter clinical trials before, during, or after starting their cancer treatment.

The Abramson Cancer Center hosts a wide range of materials and activities that provide education and support to address key areas of concern for cancer patients and their loved ones. We are proud that many of our innovative patient education programs have been recognized by national groups, including the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Patient Education Network.

Our educational materials and support activities help people deal with the physical and emotional consequences of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. They also assist patients and families to resume active lives after treatment.

Our support group meetings provide information on topics of ... read more Support

Different treatments are available for those with laryngeal cancer. Some treatments are called standard. This means they are the currently used treatments. Some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments.

When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. You may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment, while others are available during or after treatment.
Treatment options vary depending on your situation including the stage of the cancer and other factors that may be... read more Treatment

Different treatments are available for those with laryngeal cancer. Some treatments are called standard. This means they are the currently used treatments. Some are being tested in clinical trials. A treatment clinical trial is a study meant to help improve current treatments or obtain information on new treatments.

When clinical trials show that a new treatment is better than the standard treatment, the new treatment may become the standard treatment. You may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial. Some clinical trials are open only to patients who have not started treatment, while others are available during or after treatment.
Treatment options vary depending on your situation including the stage of the cancer and other factors that may be... read more Treatment

The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania is committed to helping each cancer survivor find ways to enjoy life to the fullest. We have a nationally recognized program that focuses on the issues that survivors face, called "Living Well After Cancer™."

The LIVESTRONG™ Survivorship Center of Excellence, The Living Well After Cancer Program (LWAC) at the Abramson Cancer Center, directed by Linda A. Jacobs, PhD, RN, is a clinical, research, and education effort focused on early intervention and prevention of disease as the ultimate goal.

The multidisciplinary LWAC Program currently provides care and research opportunities to cancer survivors treated at Penn, the University of Pennsylvania Cancer Network hospitals, and through the Living Well ... read more Living Well

Survivor Stories

Jeanie Taddeo

Battling Cancer While Pregnant

Jeanie, an 8th grade Spanish teacher at Spring Ford Eighth Grade Center, and her husband Phil, a senior manager at Vanguard, absolutely love their jobs and had been happily married for 14 years.

After almost 12 years of trying to have children, they were thrilled to find out that Jeanie was pregnant. We couldn't believe it!" says Jeanie. "And then to find out we were having twins girls was the biggest blessing we could have asked for. My heart was melting."

But at only 15 weeks, fear and shock set in when Jeanie felt a lump in her breast and was diagnosed with stage II invasive breast cancer. "We are going to approach this head on. I just kept thinking about my girls, and how I wanted to get through this, and so I went to see the best," says Jeanie.

 




Spotlight

Stand Up to Cancer

Peter O'Dwyer, MD, professor of Hematology-Oncology and program director of Development Therapeutics in the Abramson Cancer Center, was interviewed on NBC10's 10! Show about Penn's work as part of the Stand Up to Cancer Dream Team... Read more

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are studies to find new ways to prevent, detect and treat cancer. The purpose of each clinical trial is to answer a specific question. Our physicians carefully design these studies to find new ways to improve care and quality of life ... more about clinical trials