The additional value of chemotherapy to radiotherapy in locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma: A meta-analysis of the published literature

Department of Radiation Oncology, University Hospital Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 17.88). 12/2004; 22(22):4604-12. DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2004.10.074
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of this meta-analysis was to determine the additional value of neoadjuvant, concurrent, and/or adjuvant chemotherapy to radiation in the treatment of locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) with regard to the overall survival (OS) and the incidence of local-regional recurrences (LRR) and distant metastases (DM).
To be eligible, full published studies had to deal with biopsy-proven NPC and have patients randomly assigned to receive conventional radiotherapy (66 to 70 Gy in 7 weeks) or radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy.
Ten randomized clinical studies were identified, including 2,450 patients. The pooled hazard ratio (HR) of death for all studies was 0.82 (95% CI, 0.71 to 0.95; P = .01) corresponding to an absolute survival benefit of 4% after 5 years. Three categories of trials were defined according to the sequence of chemotherapy, including neoadjuvant chemotherapy, at least concomitant chemoradiotherapy, and adjuvant chemotherapy. A significant interaction term (P = .02) was found among these three categories. The largest effect was found for concomitant chemotherapy, with a pooled HR of 0.48 (95% CI, 0.32 to 0.72), which corresponds to a survival benefit of 20% after 5 years. Comparable results were found for the incidence of LRR and DM.
The results of this study indicate that concomitant chemotherapy in addition to radiation is probably the most effective way to improve OS in NPC.


Available from: Ben J Slotman, Jun 09, 2015
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