Brief Article
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World J Clin Oncol. May 10, 2013; 4(2): 47-51
Published online May 10, 2013. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v4.i2.47
Combined chemo-radiotherapy in locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinomas
Francesco Perri, Giuseppina Della Vittoria Scarpati, Carlo Buonerba, Giuseppe Di Lorenzo, Francesco Longo, Paolo Muto, Concetta Schiavone, Fabio Sandomenico, Francesco Caponigro
Francesco Perri, Francesco Caponigro, Head and Neck Medical Oncology Unit, National Tumor Institute of Naples, 80131 Naples, Italy
Giuseppina Della Vittoria Scarpati, Medical Oncology Unit, Hospital of Salerno, 84090 Salerno, Italy
Carlo Buonerba, Giuseppe Di Lorenzo, Medical Oncology Unit, University Federico II of Naples, 80131 Naples, Italy
Francesco Longo, Otolaryngology Unit, National Tumor Institute of Naples, 80131 Naples, Italy
Paolo Muto, Concetta Schiavone, Fabio Sandomenico, Radiotherapy Unit, National Tumor Institute of Naples, 80131 Naples, Italy
Author contributions: Perri F, Della Vittoria Scarpati G and Buonerba C designed the research; Perri F, Della Vittoria Scarpati G, Buonerba C, Di Lorenzo G, Longo F, Muto P, Schiavone C, Sandomenico F and Caponigro F contributed to the acquisition of data; Perri F and Buonerba C contributed to the analysis of data, drafting and revising the article; all authors approved the final version of the paper.
Correspondence to: Francesco Perri, MD, Head and Neck Medical Oncology Unit, National Tumor Institute of Naples, Via Mariano Semmola 80131 Naples, Italy. francesco.perri80@alice.it
Telephone: +39-815-903362 Fax: +39-815-903822
Received: February 14, 2013
Revised: March 30, 2013
Accepted: April 13, 2013
Published online: May 10, 2013
Abstract

AIM: To provide efficacy and safety data about the combined use of radiotherapy and chemo-radiotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

METHODS: We reviewed data of 40 patients with locally advanced NPC treated with induction chemotherapy followed by concomitant chemo-radiotherapy (CCRT) (22/40 patients) or CCRT alone (18/40) from March 2006 to March 2012. Patients underwent fiberoscopy with biopsy of the primitive tumor, and computed tomography scan of head, neck, chest and abdomen with and without contrast. Cisplatin was used both as induction and as concomitant chemotherapy, while 3D conformal radiation therapy was delivered to the nasopharynx and relevant anatomic regions (total dose, 70 Gy). The treatment was performed using 6 MV photons of the linear accelerator administered in 2 Gy daily fraction for five days weekly. This retrospective analysis was approved by the review boards of the participating institutions. Patients gave their consent to treatment and to anonymous analysis of clinical data.

RESULTS: Thirty-three patients were males and 7 were females. Median follow-up time was 58 mo (range, 1-92 mo). In the sub-group of twenty patients with a follow-up time longer than 36 mo, the 3-year survival and disease free survival rates were 85% and 75%, respectively. Overall response rate both in patients treated with induction chemotherapy followed by CCRT and in those treated with CCRT alone was 100%. Grade 3 neutropenia was the most frequent acute side-effect and it occurred in 20 patients. Grade 2 mucositis was seen in 29 patients, while grade 2 xerostomia was seen in 30 patients. Overall toxicity was manageable and it did not cause any significant treatment delay. In the whole sample population, long term toxicity included grade 2 xerostomia in 22 patients, grade 1 dysgeusia in 17 patients and grade 1 subcutaneous fibrosis in 30 patients.

CONCLUSION: Both CCRT and induction chemotherapy followed by CCRT showed excellent activity in locally advanced NPC. The role of adjuvant chemotherapy remains to be defined.

Keywords: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Induction chemotherapy, Concurrent chemoradiotherapy, Adjuvant chemotherapy, Locally advanced disease

Core tip: Clinical data of 40 patients (33 males, 7 females) with locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) treated at two participating institutions from March 2006 to March 2012 were reviewed. Patients received either induction chemotherapy followed by concomitant chemo-radiotherapy (CCRT) (22/40 patients) or CCRT alone (18/40). Patients underwent fiberoscopy with biopsy of the primitive tumor, and a computed tomography scan of the head, neck, chest and abdomen with and without contrast. Cisplatin was used both as induction and as concomitant chemotherapy, while 3D conformal radiation therapy was delivered to the nasopharynx and node areas (total dose, 70 Gy). A complete response rate of approximately 95% was achieved both in patients treated with induction chemotherapy followed by CCRT and in those treated with CCRT alone. In the sub-group of twenty patients with a follow-up time longer than 36 mo, the 3-year survival and disease free survival rates were 85% and 75%, respectively. These results showed that both CCRT and induction chemotherapy followed by CCRT have excellent activity in locally advanced NPC. The role of adjuvant chemotherapy remains to be defined.