Subglottic cancers are extremely rare as a primary malignancy representing < 8% of all laryngeal cancers. Typical age at presentation is in the 5th decade. Recent reports have suggested a female preponderance.
There are three main types of subglottic carcinoma. Adenocarcinoma is uncommon and is typically a lung parenchymal disease and the prognosis is often poor. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma arises from submucosal glands and is extremely malignant. Adenoid cystic carcinoma is the most common neoplasm of the trachea. It is slowly progressive with an equal gender distribution.
Photodynamic therapy has previously been shown to reduce the bulk of tumours and vascular malformations. It also causes tissue destruction through an interaction beween a photosensitizing drug and light. The authors commend photodynamic therapy as an adjunct to surgical management of subglottic carcinoma.