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      Long-term Patterns of Regional Failure for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma following Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy

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          Abstract

          Purpose: To analyze the long-term patterns of regional failure following intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) for nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

          Methods: From January 2005 to December 2010, 275 non-metastatic NPC patients treated with IMRT were retrospectively enrolled. Patients staged as II (lymph nodes measuring 4 or more cm in diameter), III or IV also received chemotherapy. Failures were assessed as in-field or out-field relative to the pretreatment planning computed tomography data sets. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed with Cox proportional hazards model to analyze the effect of various prognostic factors on regional failure-free survival (RFFS) and overall survival (OS).

          Results: During a median follow-up of 71 months, the RFFS and OS rates were 94.3% and 83.9%, respectively. Seventeen patients developed regional failures, of which 16 were in-field; one patient showed an out-field failure in the parotid gland, and no recurrences were seen for level Ib. Failures in level II and in the retropharyngeal area accounted for 70.6% (12/17) and 52.9% (9/17) of all failures, respectively. The 5-year RFFS rates for patients with classifications of N0-1 and N2-3 were 98.5% and 90.2%, respectively (p = 0.001). Multivariate analysis showed that N stage was the only independent prognostic predictor of RFFS (HR 7.363, 95% CI 1.516-35.756, p = 0.013).

          Conclusions: The regional failure of NPC after treatment with IMRT is uncommon but is significantly higher in N2-3 patients than in N0-1 patients. In-field failures represent the main pattern of regional recurrence and are most often detected in level II and in the retropharyngeal area, while out-field failure is rare. Close attention should be directed to NPC patients with advanced N stages.

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          Most cited references 29

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          New response evaluation criteria in solid tumours: revised RECIST guideline (version 1.1).

          Assessment of the change in tumour burden is an important feature of the clinical evaluation of cancer therapeutics: both tumour shrinkage (objective response) and disease progression are useful endpoints in clinical trials. Since RECIST was published in 2000, many investigators, cooperative groups, industry and government authorities have adopted these criteria in the assessment of treatment outcomes. However, a number of questions and issues have arisen which have led to the development of a revised RECIST guideline (version 1.1). Evidence for changes, summarised in separate papers in this special issue, has come from assessment of a large data warehouse (>6500 patients), simulation studies and literature reviews. HIGHLIGHTS OF REVISED RECIST 1.1: Major changes include: Number of lesions to be assessed: based on evidence from numerous trial databases merged into a data warehouse for analysis purposes, the number of lesions required to assess tumour burden for response determination has been reduced from a maximum of 10 to a maximum of five total (and from five to two per organ, maximum). Assessment of pathological lymph nodes is now incorporated: nodes with a short axis of 15 mm are considered measurable and assessable as target lesions. The short axis measurement should be included in the sum of lesions in calculation of tumour response. Nodes that shrink to <10mm short axis are considered normal. Confirmation of response is required for trials with response primary endpoint but is no longer required in randomised studies since the control arm serves as appropriate means of interpretation of data. Disease progression is clarified in several aspects: in addition to the previous definition of progression in target disease of 20% increase in sum, a 5mm absolute increase is now required as well to guard against over calling PD when the total sum is very small. Furthermore, there is guidance offered on what constitutes 'unequivocal progression' of non-measurable/non-target disease, a source of confusion in the original RECIST guideline. Finally, a section on detection of new lesions, including the interpretation of FDG-PET scan assessment is included. Imaging guidance: the revised RECIST includes a new imaging appendix with updated recommendations on the optimal anatomical assessment of lesions. A key question considered by the RECIST Working Group in developing RECIST 1.1 was whether it was appropriate to move from anatomic unidimensional assessment of tumour burden to either volumetric anatomical assessment or to functional assessment with PET or MRI. It was concluded that, at present, there is not sufficient standardisation or evidence to abandon anatomical assessment of tumour burden. The only exception to this is in the use of FDG-PET imaging as an adjunct to determination of progression. As is detailed in the final paper in this special issue, the use of these promising newer approaches requires appropriate clinical validation studies.
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            The American Joint Committee on Cancer: the 7th edition of the AJCC cancer staging manual and the future of TNM.

            The American Joint Committee on Cancer and the International Union for Cancer Control update the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) cancer staging system periodically. The most recent revision is the 7th edition, effective for cancers diagnosed on or after January 1, 2010. This editorial summarizes the background of the current revision and outlines the major issues revised. Most notable are the marked increase in the use of international datasets for more highly evidenced-based changes in staging, and the enhanced use of nonanatomic prognostic factors in defining the stage grouping. The future of cancer staging lies in the use of enhanced registry data standards to support personalization of cancer care through cancer outcome prediction models and nomograms.
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              Toxicity criteria of the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Cancer
                J Cancer
                jca
                Journal of Cancer
                Ivyspring International Publisher (Sydney )
                1837-9664
                2017
                15 March 2017
                : 8
                : 6
                : 993-999
                jcav08p0993
                10.7150/jca.17858
                5436251
                © Ivyspring International Publisher

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). See http://ivyspring.com/terms for full terms and conditions.

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