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Progress and Challenges in Chemotherapy for Loco-Regionally Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

  • Liang, Zhong-Guo (Department of Radiation Oncology, the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Cancer Institute of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) ;
  • Chen, Ze-Tan (Department of Radiation Oncology, the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Cancer Institute of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) ;
  • Li, Ling (Department of Radiation Oncology, the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Cancer Institute of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) ;
  • Qu, Song (Department of Radiation Oncology, the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Cancer Institute of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region) ;
  • Zhu, Xiao-Dong (Department of Radiation Oncology, the Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Cancer Institute of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region)
  • Published : 2015.07.13

Abstract

Incidence rates of nasopharyngeal carcinoma are high in Indonesia, Singapore and South-Eastern China. Chemoradiotherapy has been the standard regimen for locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma according to guidelines from the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. Recently, advances in the management of nasopharyngeal carcinoma have transferred into better treatment outcomes. Most phase III clinical trials support the addition of concurrent chemotherapy to radiotherapy for the initial treatment of these patients. Studies evaluating effects and toxicity of concurrent chemotherapy with different regimens have been reported. However, the status of adding adjuvant chemotherapy or induction chemotherapy remains controversial. Recent studies have shown that adjuvant chemotherapy with two or three cycles may improve survival for nasopharyngeal carcinoma with stage N2-3 disease or with persistently detectable plasma EBV DNA after radiotherapy. This review examines the pertinent issues and latest studies concerning the management of loco-regionally advanced NPC, regarding concurrent chemotherapy, adjuvant chemotherapy, and induction chemotherapy in decades.

Keywords

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma;concurrent chemotherapy;adjuvant chemotherapy;induction chemotherapy

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