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Temporal bone verrucous carcinoma: outcomes and treatment controversy


Verrucous carcinoma is a rare tumor that presents in the head and neck with the most common sites being the oral cavity and larynx. Fourteen cases of verrucous carcinoma of the temporal bone have been described in literature; this study aims to examine treatment outcomes and discuss the controversy surrounding postoperative radiation. The study design included a literature review along with individual case report in the setting of a tertiary care medical center. Outcome analysis of all cases of verrucous carcinoma of the temporal bone, which are documented in the English literature, and presentation of a single patient report including gross, histologic and radiologic analyses were performed. The longest recorded survival for verrucous carcinoma of the temporal bone occurs in patients treated with surgery alone. Poorer outcomes for patients treated with adjuvant (chemo)radiation may be due to more advanced stage of disease at the time of treatment. Early reports of radiation leading to tumor dedifferentiation or early recurrence are not supported by more recent studies. Whether adjuvant radiation therapy is indicated in verrucous carcinoma of the temporal bone remains controversial.

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