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J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2012 Oct;138(10):1717-25. Epub 2012 Jun 10.

Comparison of five cisplatin-based regimens frequently used as the first-line protocols in metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Medical Oncology, Zhejiang Cancer Hospital, 38 Guang Ji Road, Hangzhou, China.



No randomized trial has been reported comparing different chemotherapy regimens on disseminated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). This study aims to compare five cisplatin-based regimens including cisplatin + 5-fluororacil (PF), paclitaxel + cisplatin (TP), gemcitabine + cisplain (GP), paclitaxel + cisplatin + 5-fluororacil (TPF), and bleomycin + cisplatin + 5-fluororacil (BPF) regimen most frequently used as the first-line protocols for metastatic NPC retrospectively.


Eight hundred and twenty-two patients with metastatic NPC were divided into five groups according to the regimen they received. Then, their response rate, toxicity, and long-term survival outcome as well as the prognostic factors were analyzed.


The higher response rates in GP and TPF regimens comparing to PF regimen were achieved (Χ (2) = 4.57, P = 0.033; Χ (2) = 7.04, P = 0.008), as well as in TPF regimen comparing to TP regimen (Χ (2) = 5.579, P = 0.018). The occurrence rate of the major III-IV grade toxicity was significantly different between the five groups. However, no statistically significant difference was observed in progression-free survival (PFS; P = 0.247) and overall survival (P = 0.127) among the five groups. Cox multivariate analysis identified the following independent prognostic factors: liver metastases, plasma Epstein Barr Virus (EBV)-DNA level, cycles of chemotherapy, and second-line chemotherapy.


PF, TP, and GP are all effective regimens as the first-line chemotherapy for metastatic NPC, which can be well tolerated. Over four cycles of chemotherapy are recommended under no contraindication. Patients should transfer to the second-line regimen after the treatment failure of the first-line chemotherapy.

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