Clinical Research Papers:

The role of adjuvant chemotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma with bulky neck lymph nodes in the era of IMRT

Tingting Xu, Chunying Shen, Xiaomin Ou, Xiayun He, Hongmei Ying and Chaosu Hu _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:21013-21022. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.7849

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Tingting Xu1,2, Chunying Shen1,2, Xiaomin Ou1,2, Xiayun He1,2, Hongmei Ying1,2, Chaosu Hu1,2

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China

2Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Shanghai, China

Correspondence to:

Chaosu Hu, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, locally advanced, N2–3, intensity modulated radiation therapy, adjuvant chemotherapy

Received: September 08, 2015     Accepted: January 29, 2016     Published: March 02, 2016


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients with N2–3 diseases are prone to develop distant metastasis even treated with standard concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT). Our study is aim to determine the optimal treatment strategy of these patients. Patients with histologically proven NPC were retrospectively analyzed according to the AJCC 2002 stage classification system. A total of 547 patients who had N2–3 diseases were enrolled. They were all treated with Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) combined with systemic treatments, including radiotherapy alone (RT alone), neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy (NACT+RT), CCRT, NACT+CCRT, NACT followed by radiotherapy and adjuvant chemotherapy (NACT+RT+AC), CCRT+AC and NACT+CCRT+AC. A subgroup analysis was also conducted. With a median follow-up time of 53.8 months, adjuvant chemotherapy significantly decreased the risk of distant metastasis (HR 0.413, 95% CI 0.194–0.881, p = 0.022) as well as significantly increased the OS (HR 0.398, 95% CI 0.187–0.848, p = 0.017) in patients with N3 disease. The addition of adjuvant chemotherapy seemed to provide benefits to patients with N3 stage NPC and the current study may indicate the need for further randomized investigation.

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