Treatment, outcomes, and prognostic factors of ear cancer

Chun Kai Chao, Tzung Shiahn Sheen, Wen Yi Shau, Lai Lei Ting, Mow Ming Hsu

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer of the ear is rare and a consensus has not been reached as to the most appropriate treatment. In this retrospective study, we examined the treatment modalities, prognostic factors, and outcomes of patients treated for ear cancer at the National Taiwan University Hospital during a 15-year period. The disease-free survival rates of patients with three different disease grades were compared using the log-rank test. The effects of prognostic factors on survival were examined with Cox's proportional hazard model. Of the 61 ear cancer patients treated from January 1982 through October 1996, 47 (36 men, 11 women; mean age, 54.6 yr) had complete records and were included in this study. The tumor originated from the middle ear in 29 (62%) patients and from the external ear canal in 18 (38%). A total of 37 patients underwent radical mastoidectomy to remove the gross tumor, while six underwent wide excision of the tumor. Concomitant parotidectomy or neck dissection was performed in seven patients. Thirty-eight patients received postoperative radiation therapy and five patients received chemotherapy for palliative treatment of recurrent or inoperable tumors. All but four (9%) of 43 patients developed facial nerve palsy postoperatively. There were no deaths directly related to surgery or other major complications, including cerebrospinal fluid leakage, meningitis, or hemiparesis. The 5-year disease- free survival rate was 53% overall (n=47), but differed significantly among patients with different grades of disease (p = 0.038): 66% for grade I (n = 27), 44% for grade II (n = 17), and 0% for grade III (n = 3). Multivariate analysis revealed that cervical lymph node metastasis was a poor prognostic factor (relative hazard, 16.4; p < 0.001). These results suggest that mastoidectomy with postoperative radiation therapy can yield satisfactory outcomes, even in some cases of advanced (grade II) disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-318
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Ear cancer
  • Mastoidectomy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Temporal bone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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