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Cancer J. 2006 Mar-Apr;12(2):147-54.

Treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in the modern era: analysis of outcomes and toxicity from a single center in a nonendemic area.

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Department of Radiation Oncology, Cross Cancer Institute, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


We analyzed treatment outcomes for nasopharyngeal carcinoma in a single institute.


From 1992 to 2002, 82 patients with nasopharyngeal cancer were treated. Kaplan-Meier estimates of overall and disease-free survival were calculated. The log-rank test was used to determine significant prognostic determinants of overall and disease-free survival.


Patients received one of three regimens: radiotherapy alone (n = 19), radiotherapy with concurrent carboplatin (n = 46), or radiotherapy with concurrent cisplatin (n = 17). Fifty-seven percent of patients had their radiotherapy planned using fluoroscopy-based methods. Overall, 93.9% of patients received all prescribed radiotherapy. Response rate to treatment was 98.7%. Three-year disease-free survival and overall survival rates for all patients were 69.0% and 65%, respectively. Five patients had late grade 3-4 toxicities. There were no treatment-related deaths. Twenty-four percent of patients were hospitalized during treatment, and 72.6% lost < or = 9.9% of pretreatment weight. Forty-two percent of failures were local and 27.3% were distant. Ninety percent of deaths were nasopharyngeal carcinoma-related. Disease stage was the only significant predictor of overall survival.


At our center, treatments given for nasopharyngeal carcinoma from 1992 to 2002 had acceptable toxicity rates. Further follow-up of patients treated with modern radiotherapy planning methods and chemotherapy regimens is needed to compare our institutional results with other published outcomes with more validity.

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