National survey of head and neck verrucous carcinoma: Patterns of presentation, care, and outcome

Brenton B. Koch, Douglas K. Trask, Henry T. Hoffman, Lucy H. Karnell, Robert A. Robinson, Weining Zhen, Herman R. Menck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND. Verrucous carcinoma is distinguished by controversy regarding appropriate diagnosis and treatment. This study provides a contemporary survey of demographics, patterns of care, and outcome for this disease in the United States. METHODS. The National Cancer Data Base had 2350 cases of verrucous carcinoma of the head and neck diagnosed between 1985 and 1996. Statistical procedures included chi-square analyses, Student t tests, and relative survival. RESULTS. Tumors originated most frequently in the oral cavity (55.9%) and larynx (35.2%). Although most patients were male (60.0%), oral cavity tumors were more common among older females. The most prevalent treatment was surgery alone (69.7%), followed by surgery combined with irradiation (11.0%) and irradiation alone (10.3%). For oral cavity tumors, surgery alone was more common among early (85.8%) than advanced cases (56.9%); a larger proportion of advanced disease received radiation alone or surgery and irradiation combined. Most laryngeal tumors were treated with surgery (60.3% for early and 55.6% for advanced disease), but a higher proportion received radiation alone or surgery combined with radiation compared with oral cavity cases. Five-year relative survival was 77.9%. For localized disease, survival after surgery was 88.9% compared with 57.6% after irradiation. CONCLUSIONS. Demographic differences implicate different mechanisms of carcinogenesis for verrucous carcinoma arising in the oral cavity and the larynx. Although selection bias may account for the differences observed, patients receiving initial treatment with surgery had better survival than those treated with irradiation, especially for cases originating in the oral cavity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)110-120
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2001


  • Head and neck neoplasms
  • Laryngeal carcinoma
  • National Cancer Data Base (NCDB)
  • National survey
  • Oral cavity carcinoma
  • Verrucous carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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