Treatment outcomes for different subgroups of nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients treated with intensity-modulated radiation therapy.

State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510060, P. R. China.
Chinese journal of cancer 08/2011; 30(8):565-73. DOI: 10.5732/cjc.010.10547
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Although many studies have investigated intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), sample sizes in the reported studies are usually small and different in outcomes in different T and N subgroups are seldom analyzed. Herein, we evaluated the outcomes of NPC patients treated with IMRT and further explored treatment strategy to improve such outcome. We collected clinical data of 865 NPC patients treated with IMRT alone or in combination with chemotherapy, and classified all cases into the following prognostic categories according to different TNM stages: early stage group (T1-2N0-1M0), advanced local disease group (T3-4N0-1M0), advanced nodal disease group (T1-2N2-3M0), and advanced locoregional disease group (T3-4N2-3M0). The 5-year overall survival (OS), local relapse-free survival (LRFS), and distant metastases-free survival (DMFS) were 83.0%, 90.4%, and 84.0%, respectively. The early disease group had the lowest treatment failure rate, with a 5-year OS of 95.6%. The advanced local disease group and advanced nodal disease group had similar failure pattern and treatment outcomes as well as similar hazard ratios for death (4.230 and 4.625, respectively). The advanced locoregional disease group had the highest incidence of relapse and death, with a 5-year DMFS and OS of 62.3% and 62.2%, respectively, and a hazard ratio for death of 10.402. Comparing with IMRT alone, IMRT in combination with chemotherapy provided no significant benefit to locoregionally advanced NPC. Our results suggest that the decision of treatment strategy for NPC patients should consider combinations of T and N stages, and that IMRT alone for early stage NPC patients can produce satisfactory results. However, for advanced local, nodal, and locoregional disease groups, a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy is recommended.

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