Validation of a prognostic scoring system for locally recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated by stereotactic radiosurgery

BMC Cancer. 2009 Apr 29;9:131. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-9-131.


Background: Selection of patients with local failure of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) for appropriate type of salvage treatment can be difficult due to the lack of data on comparative efficacy of different salvage treatments. The purpose of the present study was to validate a previously published prognostic scoring system for local failures of NPC treated by radiosurgery based on reported results in the literature.

Methods: A literature search yielded 3 published reports on the use of radiosurgery as salvage treatment of NPC that contained sufficient clinical information for validation of the scoring system. Prognostic scores of 18 patients from these reports were calculated and actuarial survival rates were estimated and compared to the original cohort used to design the prognostic scoring system. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was also determined and compared between the current and original patient groups.

Results: The calculated prognostic scores ranged from 0.32 to 1.21, with 15 patients assigned to the poor prognostic group and 3 to the intermediate prognostic group. The actuarial 3-year survival rates in the intermediate and poor prognostic groups were 67% and 0%, respectively. These results were comparable to the observed 3-year survival rates of 74% and 23% in the intermediate and poor prognostic group in the original reports. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve for the current patient group was 0.846 which was similar to 0.841 in the original group.

Conclusion: The previously published prognostic scoring system demonstrated good prediction of treatment outcome after radiosurgery in a small group of NPC patients with poor prognosis. Prospective study to validate the scoring system is currently being carried out in our institution.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Radiosurgery / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Review Literature as Topic
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome