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Concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) showed a significant improvement in disease control and clinical outcome in patients with intermediate and locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) (stage II, III and IVA+B). However, there has been debate about the contribution and application of additional adjuvant chemotherapy (AC) to a CCRT regime. This study aims to evaluate the additional value of AC in the treatment of intermediate and locally advanced NPC with regard to toxicity and clinical outcomes. A total of 189 patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage II to stage IVB NPC were retrospectively identified. Patient characteristics, toxicity, compliance with treatment and clinical outcomes, including response to treatment, overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), relapse-free survival (RFS), freedom from local recurrence (FLR) and freedom from distant metastasis (FDM), were analyzed. The overall response rate of CCRT and CCRT/AC groups was 97.92 % and 97.83 %, respectively (P=0.643). The 5-year OS rate was 68.2 % in the CCRT group and 75.9 % in the CCRT/AC group (P=0.53). The 5-year PFS rate was 66.7 % and 71.4 % in CCRT and CCRT/AC groups, respectively (P=0.96). This study showed no evidence of an additional value of AC in CCRT treatment in disease control and clinical outcomes in patients with locally advanced NPC in endemic regions. Moreover, three additional cycles of AC after CCRT appeared to be poorly tolerated in patients. Therefore, AC should not be routinely used for treatment, although clinical trials may be justified.


Wendong Zhang, Huiqin Dou, Chileong Lam, Jixi Liu, Jianfeng Zhou, Yunsheng Liu, Xiuwen Wang. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy with or without adjuvant chemotherapy in intermediate and locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Tumour biology : the journal of the International Society for Oncodevelopmental Biology and Medicine. 2013 Jun;34(3):1729-36

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PMID: 23436047

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