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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2012 Jan 1;82(1):e57-65. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2010.11.070. Epub 2011 Apr 7.

Clinical outcomes of 174 nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients with radiation-induced temporal lobe necrosis.

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Department of Clinical Oncology, Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China.



To retrospectively study the clinical outcomes of nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients with radiation-induced temporal lobe necrosis (TLN) treated with steroids, surgery, or observation only.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 174 consecutive patients diagnosed with TLN between 1990 and 2008. Before 1998, symptomatic patients were treated with oral steroids, while asymptomatic patients were treated conservatively. After 1998, most symptomatic and asymptomatic patients with a large volume of necrosis were treated by intravenously pulsed-steroid therapy with a standardized protocol. We examined factors affecting grade 4 complication-free survival and overall survival. Outcomes of the three treatment groups, those receiving conservative treatment, those receiving oral steroid, and those receiving intravenous pulse steroid, were compared.


The mean follow-up time was 115 months. Rates of grade 4 complication-free survival at 2 years and at 5 years after diagnosis of TLN were 72.2% and 54.1%, respectively. The 2-year and 5-year overall survival rates were 57.5% and 35.4%, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that being symptomatic at diagnosis (relative risk [RR], 4.5; p = 0.0001), re-irradiation of the nasopharynx (NP) (RR, 1.56; p = 0.008), salvage brachytherapy to the NP (RR, 1.75; p = 0.012), and a short latency period before the diagnosis of TLN (RR, 0.96, p < 0.0001) were independent prognosticators of poor grade 4 complication-free survival. Patients with all four factors had a 100% risk of developing grade 4 complications within 5 years; whereas if no factor was present, the risk was 12.5%. Intravenous pulse steroid therapy was associated with a higher clinical response rate compared with conventional steroid therapy (p < 0.0001); however, it did not affect complication-free survival in multivariate analysis.


TLN patients with good prognosticators could be observed without active treatment. Although treatment with intravenously pulsed steroid was associated with better clinical response than conventional steroid delivery, it did not affect the complication-free survival rate of TLN patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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