Clinical Research Papers:

Chemotherapy use and survival in stage II nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Xin-Bin Pan, Shi-Ting Huang, Kai-Hua Chen and Xiao-Dong Zhu _

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:102573-102580. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21751

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Xin-Bin Pan1, Shi-Ting Huang1, Kai-Hua Chen1 and Xiao-Dong Zhu1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi 530021, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Xiao-Dong Zhu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, chemotherapy, survival, stage II

Received: August 07, 2017     Accepted: September 21, 2017     Published: October 11, 2017


Although common, the use of chemotherapy for stage II nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is controversial due to its undefined clinical benefits. We therefore conducted a retrospective cohort study to investigate whether chemotherapy confers survival gains to stage II NPC patients. A total of 251 stage II (2010 UICC/AJCC staging system) NPC patients treated between January 2007 and December 2014 were retrospectively analyzed. Patients were matched using the propensity-score matching method. The primary endpoint was overall survival (OS). Secondary endpoints were locoregional-free survival (LRFS) and distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS). Our analyses revealed no significant differences in OS, LRFS, or DMFS for stage II NPC patients treated with radiotherapy (RT) alone, concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT), or CCRT + adjuvant chemotherapy (AC). T2N1 (OR = 6.690; 95% CI, 3.091–14.481) and T1N1 (OR = 5.857; 95% CI, 2.278–15.061) patients were more likely to receive CCRT than T2N0 patients. Similarly, both T2N1 (OR = 10.513; 95% CI, 3.439–32.137) and T1N1 (OR = 7.321; 95% CI, 1.978–27.098) patients were more likely to receive CCRT + AC than T2N0 patients. The present matched survival analysis suggests potential overuse of chemotherapy in stage II NPC, as the addition of chemotherapy did not provide a survival benefit in this group of patients.

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