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Bull Cancer. 2005 Nov;92(11):977-81.

[Nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Tunisian children: retrospective epidemiological, clinical and biological study about 48 cases].

[Article in French]

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Service de biologie clinique, Institut Salah Azaïz, boulevard du 9 avril, 1006 Bab Saâdoun, Tunis, Tunisie.



Report epidemiological, clinical and biological aspects of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Tunisian children.


Our retrospective study from 1994 to 2001 included all children treated for nasopharyngeal carcinoma in the Salah Azaïz Cancer Institute of Tunis. Initial investigation consisted of ENT and general examination, nasopharyngeal CT-scan, abdominal echography, chest X-ray and bone scintigraphy. Biological markers included blood-count, erythrocytes sedimentation and serum lactic dehydrogenase. All children received neoadjuvant chemotherapy (adriamycin, cisplatin) and irradiation therapy.


There were 48 children with a median age of 13,7 years and a sex ratio of 1,4 (28/20). Lesions are staged T2, T3 and T4 in 2,1 %, 18,7% and 79,2% of cases. All patients have cervical palpable nodes at diagnosis classified as N1 (8,3%), N2 (33.3%) and N3 (58.3%). A significant correlation was found between serum lactic dehydrogenase and the N stage (p = 0.02). After follow up, recurrence of disease was noted for three children, persistent disease for two children and metastatic disease in five cases. The overall and relapse free survival at 5 years were 79.1% and 68.9% respectively. Patients aged 13 or lower had poorer 5 overall survival rate (72.3%) than older age group (84.2%).

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