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Oral Oncol. 2015 Mar;51(3):254-9. doi: 10.1016/j.oraloncology.2014.10.012. Epub 2014 Nov 6.

Impact of intensity-modulated radiotherapy on nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Validation of the 7th edition AJCC staging system.

Author information

1
Provincial Clinical College of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China; Department of Radiation Oncology, Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China; Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Translational Cancer Medicine (Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital), Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China.
2
Provincial Clinical College of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China; Department of Radiation Oncology, Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China; Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Translational Cancer Medicine (Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital), Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China. Electronic address: linshaojun@yeah.net.
3
Provincial Clinical College of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China; Department of Radiology, Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China.
4
Provincial Clinical College of Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China; Department of Radiation Oncology, Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China; Fujian Provincial Key Laboratory of Translational Cancer Medicine (Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital), Fuzhou, Fujian, People's Republic of China. Electronic address: panjianji@126.com.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the 7th edition UICC/AJCC staging system for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients who were treated with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

The clinical data of 1241 NPC patients with initial magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were studied retrospectively. All MRIs were independently reevaluated and restaged according to the 7th edition by two radiologists specializing in head and neck cancers. Analysis of prognostic factors in local relapse-free survival (LRFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and overall survival (OS) were performed.

RESULTS:

The proportion of patients in Stage I, II, III, IVA and IVB were 4.8%, 26.2%, 45.4%, 18.4%, and 5.2%, respectively. The differences of LRFS between T1 and T2, and between T2 and T3 were not significant (P=0.055 and 0.605, respectively). Hazard ratios (HRs) for DSS and OS between T2 and T3 or between T3 and T4 differed significantly, but not between T1 and T2. The differences of DMFS between N0 and N1, between N1 and N2 were significant. However no significant difference was found in DMFS between N2 and N3a, or between N2 and N3b. For patients with T1-T3 disease, although skull base infiltration did not impact local failure, it was an independent prognostic factor for both distant failure and cancer death.

CONCLUSION:

When treated with IMRT, the difference in the LRFS, DSS, and OS between T1 and T2 patients diminished, indicating that it is rational to merge T2 into T1. The prognostic value of the N classification of the current staging system had not changed much compared to the 6th edition.

KEYWORDS:

Intensity modulated radiation therapy; Nasopharyngeal cancer; Prognosis; Staging system

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