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Indian J Cancer. 2018 Jul-Sep;55(3):257-260. doi: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_115_18.

Induction chemotherapy in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma in adults: Results from a nonendemic region.

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Department of Medical Oncology, Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.



Recently published prospective clinical trials and two meta-analyses have shown that addition of induction chemotherapy (IC) to concurrent chemoradiation (CRT) could potentially improve outcomes in comparison to CRT alone, in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (LANPC). Although it remains unclear which is the best IC regimen to be offered and for how many cycles. Unfortunately, till date, there are no published data from India regarding the outcomes of various commonly used IC regimens before CRT, in LANPC.


Patients diagnosed with LANPC from January 2012 to December 2017, who received three cycles of IC before definitive CRT were reviewed retrospectively. Patients' profile, toxicity of IC, response rates, failure-free survival, and overall survival (OS) were evaluated.


A total 34 patients with LANPC who received IC were reviewed. The median age at diagnosis was 36 years, and the majority were males (67.6%, n = 23). Nineteen patients received IC with paclitaxel plus cisplatin regimen (TP) and the remaining 15 patients received IC with docetaxel/paclitaxel plus cisplatin plus 5-FU regimen (TPF). The overall response rates after three cycles of TP and TPF IC were 68.4% and 80%, respectively, and the corresponding rates were 84.2%and 93.3%, respectively, 2 months after completion of CRT. At a median follow-up of 24 months, 2-year failure-free survival and OS for TP arm were 78.9% and 89.5%, and the corresponding rates for TPF arm were 86.7% and 93.3%, respectively. All Grade III-IV toxicities were numerically higher with triplet IC regimen in comparison to doublet regimen.


In this retrospective analysis, there was no significant difference between taxane-based doublet and triplet IC regimens, in terms of survival outcomes, although Grade III-IV toxicities were numerically higher with triplet IC regimen. Clearly, these hypothesis-generating findings should be tested in a prospective randomized setting.


Induction chemotherapy; locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma; taxane

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