Impact on Chemotherapy Response on the Outcome of Nasopharyngeal Cancer

Authors: Fady B Geara, Ibrahim Abu Gheida, Khalil Asmar, Bassem Youssef , Alain Sabri, Arafat Tfayli, Ali Shamseddine

Published: Archives of Oncology Research and Therapy, 2019

Impact on Chemotherapy Response on the Outcome of Nasopharyngeal Cancer


For the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, our research (done at the American University of Beirut) shows that for patients who received chemotherapy upfront, the response to chemotherapy was found to be is a significant predictor of outcome. This may help physicians to identify which patients should be offered more aggressive local therapy (radiation) after chemotherapy.


Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (NPC) is a highly responsive disease to both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Radiotherapy is the mainstay treatment for early and advanced stage locoregional disease, and chemotherapy contributes to both local control and the reduction of systemic failure. Here, we set to investigate this approach in a group of patients treated by Induction Chemotherapy (ICT) followed by


In this small series of locally advanced NPC patients treated by induction chemotherapy followed by radiation therapy alone, we identified that the response to ICT is strongly associated to outcome. Patients who respond poorly to induction chemotherapy have a high probability of developing DM. Although the clinical utility of this observation is limited by the low number of patients in the non-responder’s group, it may still have the merit of stimulating other groups, who have larger datasets to examine this variable. If confirmed, this might have immediate clinical implications about treatment individualization, in that patients with poor response could be selected for more aggressive management while good responders could be candidates for possible de-escalation in chemotherapy, RT or both.

Co-author: Ibrahim H. Abu-Gheida MD

Radiation Oncology Attending Physician, Burjeel Medical City, Abu-Dhabi, UAE Alum. American University of Beirut, Cleveland Clinic/Ohio, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Radiation Oncology Departments.

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