Clinical Research Papers:

A new staging system for nasopharyngeal carcinoma based on intensity-modulated radiation therapy: results of a prospective multicentric clinical study

Min Kang, Jianxiong Long, Guisheng Li, Haolin Yan, Guosheng Feng, Meilian Liu, Jinxian Zhu and Rensheng Wang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:15252-15261. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7553

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Min Kang1, Jianxiong Long2, Guisheng Li3, Haolin Yan4, Guosheng Feng5, Meilian Liu6, Jinxian Zhu7 and Rensheng Wang1

1 Department of Radiation Oncology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, P.R. China

2 School of Public Health, Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi, P.R. China

3 Department of Radiation Oncology, Liuzhou Worker Hospital, Liuzhou, Guangxi, P.R. China

4 Department of Radiation Oncology, First People’s Hospital of Yulin City, Yulin, Guangxi, P.R. China

5 Department of Radiation Oncology, People’s Hospital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Nanning, Guangxi, P.R. China

6 Department of Radiation Oncology, Affiliated Hospital of Guilin Medical University, Guilin, Guangxi, P.R. China

7 Department of Radiation Oncology, Wuzhou Red Cross Hospital, Wuzhou, Guangxi, P.R. China

Correspondence to:

Rensheng Wang, email:

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma; intensity modulated radiation therapy; staging systerm; prognosis

Received: October 15, 2015 Accepted: January 29, 2016 Published: February 21, 2016


Purpose: To establish a new clinical staging standard for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), based on intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT), through a prospective multicenter clinical trial.

Experiment Design: 492 NPC patients were selected from six hospitals in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China from January 2006 to December 2009. Kaplan-Meier method was adopted to calculate survival rates. Log-rank test was used to compare survival differences.

Results: According to the seventh edition of the UICC/AJCC staging system, the differences between T1, T2 and T3 are not statistically significant, suggesting that T1, T2 and T3 could be combined as new T1. There were significant differences between all N stages except those of N3a and N3b, suggesting that N3a and N3b could be combined as new N3. Additionally, the overall survival (OS) curves of stages I, II, III and IVa were not significantly different. Therefore, we propose a new clinical NPC staging standard based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and IMRT as T stage (including T1 and T2) , N stage (including N0, N1, N2 and N3) and clinical staging includes I (T1N0M0), II (T1N1-2M0, T2N0M0), III (T2N1-2M0), IVa (TxN3M0) and IVb (TxNxM1). Recommended staging system performs better in risk difference and distribution balance . Furthermore, the differences in the 5-year curves of local relapse-free survival (LRFS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and OS were all statistically more significant than the seventh edition of the UICC/AJCC staging system.

Conclusions: Proposed staging system is more adaptable to IMRT and predicts the prognosis of NPC patients more accurately.

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