Concomitant chemotherapy and radiotherapy for locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma
BACKGROUND: The prognosis of stage III and IV nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with radiation therapy alone is poor. To improve outcome, concomitant chemotherapy was incorporated into the treatment of locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma. METHODS AND PATIENTS: Seventy-four patients with locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma were prospectively treated with a combination of concomitant chemotherapy and computerized-tomography-assisted radiotherapy at Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center, Taipei, Taiwan, between April 1990 and December 1995. The first 29 patients who had a minimum of 2 years of follow-up were included in this report. Their median interval of follow-up was 42 months. The dose of radiation was 7000 cGy given in 35 fractions. Two courses of chemotherapy, consisting of cisplatin and 5- fluorouracil, were delivered simultaneously with radiotherapy during weeks 1 and 6, and two additional monthly courses were given after radiotherapy. Included in this study were four patients with stage III and 25 patients with stage IV disease. RESULTS: Toxicities of concomitant radiotherapy and chemotherapy were acceptable and reversible. The locoregional control rate at 50 months was 88.2%, and the disease-free survival rate was 74.6%. DISCUSSION: Our results demonstrate an improved survival with the addition of computerized tomography treatment planning and concomitant chemotherapy to radiotherapy in the treatment of locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma when compared with data in the current literature. However, a randomized trial comparing computerized-tomography-assisted radiotherapy with and without chemotherapy is necessary to confirm the contribution of chemotherapy.
Cheng, SH; Liu, T-W; Jian, JJM; Tsai, SYC; Hao, S-P; Huang, CH; Liu, M-C; Yu, B; Huang, AT
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