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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 54  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 502-507

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Experience and treatment outcome with radical conformal radiotherapy from a tertiary care center in India

Department of Radiotherapy, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Kochi, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Beena Kunheri
Department of Radiotherapy, Amrita School of Medicine, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham University, Kochi, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijc.IJC_287_17

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BACKGROUND AND AIM: The majority of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) reports on the outcome and prognostic factors are from endemic high-risk regions. Data on the outcome of Indian patients are sparse. In this study, we retrospectively analyzed the outcome of NPC patients treated radically with conformal radiotherapy (RT). The primary objective was to assess the outcome, and the secondary objectives were to assess treatment-related morbidities and the impact of various prognostic factors on the outcome. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Sixty-eight patients with biopsy-proven NPC who received radical conformal RT, i.e., three-dimensional conformal RT or intensity-modulated RT (IMRT) during 2004–2013 were analyzed. All patients received conformal RT with or without chemotherapy. Statistical analysis was performed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS, version 20.0) software, IBM, USA. Survival analysis was performed using Kaplan–Meier method. For calculating the hazard ratio of the prognostic factors, univariate and multivariate Cox regression analyses were done. Chi-square test was used to determine the association. RESULTS: In this study, with a median follow-up of 43 months, the overall survival (OS), disease-free survival, and cause-specific survival were 91, 85.2, and 98.4% at 2 years and 78.3, 72.8, and 88.2% at 3 years, respectively. The locoregional failure was low (3%), and the 5-year cause-specific survival with chemoradiation was excellent (79%), even with 50% of the patients being nonmetastatic Stage IV. Eleven out of 12 failures were distant metastases. The treatment-related late morbidities were acceptable and better with IMRT. Significant prognostic factors affecting the outcome were composite stage of the disease and the interval between diagnosis and treatment initiation. CONCLUSION: In locally-advanced NPC, excellent local control is possible with modern conformal RT with concurrent chemotherapy. Distant metastases remain a therapeutic challenge despite systemic chemotherapy. Novel systemic therapies are needed in the future for improving the OS of these patients.


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