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      Outcomes of Adding Induction Chemotherapy to Concurrent Chemotherapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Patients with Moderate-Risk in the Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy Era

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          The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of induction chemotherapy (IC) in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients with moderate-risk treated with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT).


          We retrospectively assessed 506 patients with T1-2N1M0 or T3-4N0-1M0 NPC (according to the 2010 UICC/AJCC staging system) who received concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) with or without IC at a single center in China between 2005 and 2010. Survival outcomes were compared between the IC + CCRT and CCRT groups using the Kaplan–Meier method, Log-rank test and a Cox regression model.


          Among the 506 patients, CCRT alone resulted in equivalent overall survival (86.8% vs 88.5%, p=0.661), progression-free survival (79.6% vs 79.6%, p=0.756), locoregional relapse-free survival (90.2% vs 87.0%, p=0.364) and distant metastasis-free survival (88.0% vs 89.8%, p=0.407) to IC plus CCRT. In multivariate analysis, IC did not lower the risk of death (HR 0.76, 95% CI 0.46–1.25, p=0.278), progression (HR 0.78, 95% CI 0.51–1.19, p=0.244), locoregional relapse (HR 1.06, 95% CI 0.81–1.42, p=0.651) or distant metastasis (HR 0.66, 95% CI 0.38–1.15, p=0.140) in the entire cohort; similar results were obtained in stratified analysis based on N category (N0 vs N1) and EBV DNA (< vs ≥4000 copies/mL).


          Addition of IC to CCRT does not improve survival outcomes in moderate-risk NPC; the use of IC should be carefully considered in these patients, though additional prospective trials are warranted to confirm the conclusions of this study.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Global cancer statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries.

           Bray,  F BRAY,  J FERLAY (2018)
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            Induction chemotherapy followed by concomitant radiotherapy and weekly cisplatin versus the same concomitant chemoradiotherapy in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a randomized phase II study conducted by the Hellenic Cooperative Oncology Group (HeCOG) with biomarker evaluation.

            Concomitant administration of radiation therapy (RT) and chemotherapy with cisplatin (CCRT) is considered standard treatment in patients with locally advanced nasopharyngeal cancer (LA-NPC). The role of induction chemotherapy (IC) when followed by CCRT in improving locoregional control remains controversial. Totally, 141 eligible patients with LA-NPC were randomized to either three cycles of IC with cisplatin 75 mg/m(2), epirubicin 75 mg/m(2) and paclitaxel (Taxol) 175 mg/m(2) (CEP) every 3 weeks followed by definitive RT (70 Gy) and concomitant weekly infusion of cisplatin 40 mg/m(2) (investigational arm, 72 patients) or to the same CCRT regimen alone (control arm, 69 patients). Sixty-two patients (86%) received three cycles of IC. No difference between the arms was observed in the number of patients who completed RT (61 versus 64, P = 018). Overall and complete response rates were very similar in the two arms and so were 3-year progression-free and overall survival rates. Grade III or IV toxic effects from IC were infrequent, apart of alopecia. Mucositis, weight loss and leukopenia were the most prominent side-effects from CCRT. IC with three cycles of CEP when followed by CCRT did not significantly improve response rates and/or survival compared with that of CCRT alone.
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              Is nasopharyngeal cancer really a "Cantonese cancer"?

              Nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) is endemic in Southern China, with Guandong province and Hong Kong reporting some of the highest incidences in the world. The journal Science has called it a "Cantonese cancer". We propose that in fact NPC is a cancer that originated in the Bai Yue ("proto Tai Kadai" or "proto Austronesian" or "proto Zhuang") peoples and was transmitted to the Han Chinese in southern China through intermarriage. However, the work by John Ho raised the profile of NPC, and because of the high incidence of NPC in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, NPC became known as a Cantonese cancer. We searched historical articles, articles cited in PubMed, Google, monographs, books and Internet articles relating to genetics of the peoples with high populations of NPC. The migration history of these various peoples was extensively researched, and where possible, their genetic fingerprint identified to corroborate with historical accounts. Genetic and anthropological evidence suggest there are a lot of similarities between the Bai Yue and the aboriginal peoples of Borneo and Northeast India; between Inuit of Greenland, Austronesian Mayalo Polynesians of Southeast Asia and Polynesians of Oceania, suggesting some common ancestry. Genetic studies also suggest the present Cantonese, Minnans and Hakkas are probably an admixture of northern Han and southern Bai Yue. All these populations have a high incidence of NPC. Very early contact between southern Chinese and peoples of East Africa and Arabia can also account for the intermediate incidence of NPC in these regions.

                Author and article information

                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Ther Clin Risk Manag
                Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management
                26 March 2020
                : 16
                : 201-211
                [1 ]Panyu Central Hospital, Cancer Institute of Panyu , Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine , Guangzhou 510060, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Fang-Yun Xie Department of Radiation Oncology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center; State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China; Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine , Guangzhou510060, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +86 20 87343484 Email xiefy0758@sina.com

                These authors contributed equally to this work

                © 2020 Su et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 3, References: 36, Pages: 11
                This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
                Original Research


                nasopharyngeal carcinoma, induction chemotherapy, prognosis, survival


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