Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is highly radiosensitive and patients presenting with early disease have a high cure rate after radiotherapy. For patients presenting with locoregionally advanced disease, despite a high initial control rate with radiotherapy, the subsequent failure rates are significant. Concurrent cisplatin-radiotherapy with or without adjuvant chemotherapy have been demonstrated to significantly improve survival and is currently the standard treatment strategy for patients with locoregionally advanced disease. Encouraging phase II trials have been reported on the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by concurrent chemotherapy-radiotherapy, which may provide the optimal way to deliver chemoradiation in NPC. Improved radiotherapy techniques using intensity modulated methods or three-dimensional conformal methods may further improve local control by reducing geographical misses while preserving normal organ functions.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.