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ESMO 2019: Locoregional Radiotherapy Plus Chemotherapy for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

By: Cordi Craig
Posted: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Although the role of locoregional radiotherapy in patients with primary metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma is unclear, new study results by Ming-Yuan Chen, MD, PhD, of Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China, and colleagues suggest the addition of radiotherapy with chemotherapy may improve patients’ overall survival compared with chemotherapy alone. The study was presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019 in Barcelona (Abstract 1108O) and simultaneously published in Annals of Oncology.

The study authors randomly assigned 126 patients with primary metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma to receive chemotherapy plus radiotherapy (n = 63) or chemotherapy alone (n = 63). Eligible patients had stage IVc disease cancer at diagnosis. Inclusion criteria comprised complete or partial responses determined by an imaging study following three cycles of chemotherapy.

After a median follow-up of 25.2 months, the chemotherapy-plus-radiotherapy group achieved significantly longer overall survival. The median overall survival with chemoradiotherapy was 40.2 months versus 24.5 months with chemotherapy alone (P = .007).

There were no significant differences in hematologic toxicity and gastrointestinal reaction between the two treatment groups. Toxicities were acceptable and tolerable, according to the investigators; however, the frequency of adverse events including grade 2 or 3 skin reactions and grade 3 or 4 mucositis was significantly higher among patients with received chemoradiotherapy (P < .05).

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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