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Hypopharyngeal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Recurrent Hypopharyngeal Cancer

Standard treatment options:

  1. Surgical resection if radiation therapy fails and if technically feasible.[1]
  2. Radiation therapy, if not previously used in curative doses that preclude further treatment, if surgery fails.
  3. Surgical salvage if technically feasible, when surgery fails.
  4. Chemotherapy for metastatic disease.[2]

Treatment options under clinical evaluation:

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Posttreatment follow-up:

  • These patients should have a careful head and neck examination, looking for recurrence monthly for the first posttreatment year, every 2 months for the second year, every 3 months the third year, and every 6 months thereafter.

Current Clinical Trials

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent hypopharyngeal cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.


  1. Wong LY, Wei WI, Lam LK, et al.: Salvage of recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma after primary curative surgery. Head Neck 25 (11): 953-9, 2003.
  2. Adelstein DJ, Tan EH, Lavertu P: Treatment of head and neck cancer: the role of chemotherapy. Crit Rev Oncol Hematol 24 (2): 97-116, 1996.
  3. Jacobs C, Lyman G, Velez-García E, et al.: A phase III randomized study comparing cisplatin and fluorouracil as single agents and in combination for advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. J Clin Oncol 10 (2): 257-63, 1992.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: 8/, 015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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