As the disease-free 5-year-survival of late stage laryngeal carcinoma patients is extremely low, indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO)-induced tryptophan degradation may represent an immune escape mechanism which plays an important role in cancer spreading in advanced stage laryngeal cancers. We examined whether the late stage laryngeal cancer enhances tumor immune evasion by the expression of systemic IDO activities and chronic cellular immune activation. Twenty-two of 42 male laryngeal cancer patients were classified as late stage cancer according to American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) criteria. Their serum neopterin, tryptophan and kynurenine concentrations were compared with 30 cancer-free individuals. IDO activity was approved by correlation between serum neopterin and kynurenine/tryptophan. Late stage cancer patients preoperatively showed a significantly higher IDO activity compared to controls and early stage cancer cases. Six months after tumor removal, late stage cancer patients although having higher serum neopterin concentration compared to early stage patients or controls, they showed a significant decrease in IDO activity and tryptophan consumption. Increased systemic IDO activity may provoke the escape of tumor cells from the immune surveillance of the host. High IDO activity is due to the presence of tumor mass. Persistence of high serum neopterin levels despite tumor removal may indicate poor prognosis.