Smoking is a poor prognostic factor for male nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with radiotherapy

Radiother Oncol. 2014 Mar;110(3):409-15. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2013.08.003. Epub 2013 Sep 7.


Background and purpose: To evaluate the effect of smoking on prognosis of male nasopharyngeal carcinoma by comparing the treatment outcomes between smokers and non-smokers.

Materials and methods: A total of 2450 nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients were enrolled, including 1865 male patients. Matching was performed between smokers and non-smokers in male patients according to age, UICC clinical stage, T stage, N stage and treatment. Survival outcomes were compared using Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression. Smoking index was calculated by multiplying cigarette packs per day and smoked time (year).

Results: In male patients, smokers had significantly lower 5-year overall survival (70.1% vs. 77.5%, P<0.001) and locoregional recurrent free survival (76.8% vs.82.4%, P = 0.002) compared with non-smokers. Matched-pair analysis showed that smokers kept a high risk of death compared with non-smokers (HR = 2.316, P<0.001). High degree of smoking index (>15 pack-years) had a poor effect on overall survival (HR = 1.225, P = 0.016). When smoking index was more than 45 and 60 pack-years, the risk for death increased to 1.498 and 1.899 fold compared with non-smokers (P = 0.040, 0.001), respectively.

Conclusions: Smoking was a poor prognostic factor for male nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The heavier the patients smoked, the poorer prognosis they suffered.

Keywords: Matched-pair analysis; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Prognostic factor; Radiotherapy; Smoking; Smoking index.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Treatment Outcome