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PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e56208. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0056208. Epub 2013 Feb 18.

Survival benefit of adding chemotherapy to intensity modulated radiation in patients with locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

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  • 1Department of Radiation Oncology, Beijing Chaoyang Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. xuemei.ji@yahoo.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

To evaluate the contribution of chemotherapy for patients with locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) treated by intensity modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) and to identify the optimal combination treatment strategy.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Between 2006 and 2010, 276 patients with stage II-IVb NPC were treated by IMRT alone or IMRT plus chemotherapy. Cisplatin-based chemotherapy included neoadjuvant or concurrent, or neoadjuvant plus concurrent protocols. The IMRT alone and chemoradiotherapy groups were well-matched for prognostic factors, except N stage, with more advanced NPC in the chemoradiotherapy arm.

RESULTS:

With a mean follow-up of 33.8 months, the 3-year actuarial rates of overall survival (OS), metastasis-free survival (MFS), relapse-free survival (RFS), and disease-free survival (DFS) were 90.3%, 84.2%, 80.3%, and 69.2% for all of the patients, respectively. Compared with the IMRT alone arm, patients treated by concurrent chemoradiotherapy had a significantly better DFS (HR = 2.64; 95% CI, 1.12-6.22; P = 0.03), patients with neoadjuvant-concurrent chemoradiotherapy had a significant improvement in RFS and DFS (HR = 4.03; 95% CI, 1.35-12.05; P = 0.01 and HR = 2.43; 95% CI, 1.09-5.44; P = 0.03), neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy provided no significant benefit in OS, MFS, RFS, and DFS. Stage group and alcohol consumption were prognostic factors for OS and N stage was a significant predictor for DFS.

CONCLUSIONS:

Addition of concurrent or neoadjuvant-concurrent chemotherapy to IMRT is available to prolong RFS or DFS for locoregionally advanced NPC. Such work could be helpful to guide effective individualized therapy.

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