Gemcitabine And Cisplatin Followed by Chemo-Radiation for Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

  • Jamshed, Arif (Radiation Oncology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center) ;
  • Hussain, Raza (Surgical Oncology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center) ;
  • Iqbal, Hassan (Surgical Oncology, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Center)
  • Published : 2014.01.30


Concurrent chemo-radiation (CRT) has been established as the standard of care for non-metastatic loco-regionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) but recently the addition of induction chemotherapy in the already established regimen has presented an attractive multidisciplinary approach. This retrospective study was carried out to evaluate the efficacy of induction chemotherapy (IC) followed by CRT for the management of loco-regionally advanced NPC. Between July 2005 and September 2010, 99 patients were treated with cisplatin based IC followed by CRT. Induction chemotherapy included a 2 drug combination; intravenous gemcitabine $1000mg/m^2$ on day 1 and 8 and cisplatin $75mg/m^2$ on day 1 only. Radiotherapy (RT) was given as a phase treatment to a total dose of 70 Gy in 35 fractions. Concurrent cisplatin ($75mg/m^2$) was administered to all patients on days 1, 22 and 43. All patients were evaluated for tumor response and adverse effects after IC and 6 weeks after the completion of the treatment protocol. Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS version 17 and Kaplan Meier estimates were applied to project survival. Median follow-up duration was 20 months. The 5-year overall survival (OS), loco regional control (LRC) and relapse free survival (RFS) rates were 71%, 73% and 50%respectively. Acute grade 4 toxicity related to induction chemotherapy and concurrent chemo-radiation was 4% and 2% respectively, with only 3 toxicity-related hospital admissions. We conclude that induction gemcitabine and cisplatin followed by chemo-radiation is a safe and effective regimen in management of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, meriting further investigation in randomized clinical trials.


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