An Analysis of the Global and Partial Voice Handicap Index in Patients with Early Glottic Carcinoma Treated with High Level of Irradiation


Background: This is a retrospective study on a group of patients with early glottic carcinoma, treated with curative radiotherapy. The aim of the study is to assess voice quality after treatment. We also evaluated local recurrence, overall survival, disease free survival and toxicity. Material and Methods: We examined a total of 36 patients, out of which 27 were smokers: 10 females/5 smokers; 26 males/22 smokers. The sample was observed from January 2007 to July 2012 (average follow-up period: 33.5 months, range 12 - 76). Diagnosis of early glottic carcinoma was eight during the two-year period 2007/2008, nine during 2009/2010, eleven during year 2011 and eight during year 2012. All patients suffering from early glottic carcinoma, histopathologically confirmed, were classified as follows: 24 patients T1a, 3 patients T1b, 6 patients T2 and 3 patients had a carcinoma in situ. They were treated only with conventional radiotherapy. After the treatment (total dose 70 Gy), patients were asked to fill out the Voice Handicap Index (VHI) questionnaire, composed of 30 questions that covered physical, emotional and functional areas. Results: The global VHI was evidenced with good voice quality (62% of patients: VHI < 30; 34% of patients: VHI 31 - 60). Vocal disability was mild in over 70% of patients within the physical area and over 80% within the emotional area. We observed two local recurrences, one occurred five years after the end of radiation therapy and one six months after. In terms of toxicity, we observed that acute reactions, such as dysphonia, dysphagia and erythema, were relatively limited. Conclusions: The VHI index suggests that radiotherapy produces acceptable functional results, with limited repercussion on life quality. In line with literature, our data confirmed good cure rates and larynx preservation (94.4%).

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D. Musio, F. Felice, C. Bigelli, N. Bulzonetti, R. Guarnaccia, M. Tombolini, G. Ruoppolo, M. Vincentiis and V. Tombolini, "An Analysis of the Global and Partial Voice Handicap Index in Patients with Early Glottic Carcinoma Treated with High Level of Irradiation," Journal of Cancer Therapy, Vol. 5 No. 1, 2014, pp. 21-27. doi: 10.4236/jct.2014.51003.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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