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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3-7

Concurrent chemoradiotherapy in the management of advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Current status

Department of Medical Oncology, National Institute of Oncology, Rabat, Morocco

Correspondence Address:
Nabil Ismaili
9, All Attorounj, 706706061, Secteur 24 Lot 9, Bloc H (624), Riad-Agdal Riad, 10 100, Rabat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0973-1482.48763

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Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) differs from other head and neck cancers in its epidemiology, natural behavior and, particularly, in the therapeutic considerations. In addition, NPC is responsive to both chemotherapy and radiotherapy (RT). This article reviews the recent advances in concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) for NPC. To identify the studies mentioned in this article, we searched the MEDLINE database, and abstracts of selected conference proceedings (up to 2008) using the key words 'nasopharyngeal carcinoma,' 'advanced,' 'radiotherapy,' and 'concurrent chemotherapy.' Eight randomized clinical trials of CCRT in NPC have been reported in the English literature. These trials can be classified according to the timing of the chemotherapy, which was given either concurrently with RT (in three trials) or concurrently with radiotherapy and adjuvant after the and of concurrent chemoradiotherapy (in five trials). There have also been four meta-analyses addressing the value and scheduling of chemotherapy in the curative treatment of NPC. This article reviews the recent literature and the pertinent issues concerning the role of CCRT in the treatment of patients with locoregionally advanced NPC.

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