A picture is emerging in which advanced laryngeal cancers (LCs) are potentially not homogeneous and may be characterized by subpopulations which, if identified, could allow selection of patients amenable to organ preservation treatments in contrast to those to be treated with total laryngectomy (TL). This work aims to analyze a multicentric cohort of T3-T4a LCs treated by upfront TL, investigating the clinical and pathological features that can best predict oncologic outcomes. A total of 149 previously untreated patients who underwent TL for T3-T4a LC at four institutions were analyzed. Survival and disease-control were considered as the main outcomes. A secondary end-point was the identification of covariates associated with nodal status, investigating also the tumor thickness. T and N categories were significantly associated with both overall and disease-specific survival. The number of positive nodes and tracheal involvement were associated with loco-regional failure; post-cricoid area invasion and extra-nodal extension with distant failure. Posterior laryngeal compartment involvement was not a significant prognostic feature, by either univariable and multivariable analyses. These results support the conclusion that laryngeal compartmentalization has no impact on survival in patients treated by upfront TL and the current TNM staging system remains a robust prognosticator in advanced LC.
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