Randomized trial of radiotherapy versus concurrent chemoradiotherapy followed by adjuvant chemotherapy in patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer/International Union Against Cancer stage III and IV nasopharyngeal cancer of the endemic variety

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The Intergroup 00-99 Trial for nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC) showed a benefit of adding chemotherapy to radiotherapy. However, there were controversies regarding the applicability of the results to patients in endemic regions. This study aims to confirm the findings of the 00-99 Trial and its applicability to patients with endemic NPC. Patients and Methods: Between September 1997 and May 2003, 221 patients were randomly assigned to receive radiotherapy (RT) alone (n = 110) or chemoradiotherapy (CRT; n = 111). Patients in both arms received 70 Gy in 7 weeks using standard RT portals and techniques. Patients on CRT received concurrent cisplatin (25 mg/m2 on days 1 to 4) on weeks 1, 4, and 7 of RT and adjuvant cisplatin (20 mg/m2 on days 1 to 4) and fluorouracil (1,000 mg/m2 on days 1 to 4) every 4 weeks (weeks 11, 15, and 19) for three cycles after completion of RT. All patients were analyzed by intent-to-treat analysis. The median follow-up time was 3.2 years. Results: Distant metastasis occurred in 38 patients on RT alone and 18 patients on CRT. The difference in 2-year cumulative incidence was 17% (95% CI, 14% to 20%; P = .0029). The hazard ratio (HR) for disease-free survival was 0.57 (95% CI, 0.38 to 0.87; P = .0093). The 2- and 3-year overall survival (OS) rates were 78% and 85% and 65% and 80% for RT alone and CRT, respectively. The HR for OS was 0.51 (95% CI, 0.31 to 0.81 ; P = .0061). Conclusion: This report confirms the findings of the Intergroup 00-99 Trial and demonstrates its applicability to endemic NPC. This study also confirms that chemotherapy improves the distant metastasis control rate in NPC. © 2005 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.
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    Author List

  • Wee J; Tan EH; Tai BC; Wong HB; Leong SS; Tan T; Chua ET; Yang E; Lee KM; Fong KW
  • Start Page

  • 6730
  • End Page

  • 6738
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 27