Metastatic Patterns and Prognosis of de novo Metastatic Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma in the United States

Laryngoscope. 2021 Apr;131(4):E1130-E1138. doi: 10.1002/lary.28983. Epub 2020 Aug 24.


Objective: To evaluate the distant metastatic patterns and prognostic factors for overall survival (OS) and cancer-specific survival (CSS) in de novo metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (mNPC) using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database.

Methods: Patients with de novo mNPC who had been diagnosed between 2004 and 2016 were identified from the SEER database. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to calculate OS and CSS. Log-rank tests were employed to measure survival variation among subgroups. Individual predictors of CSS and OS were examined using Cox proportional-hazards regression models in patients with de novo mNPC.

Results: We evaluated 224 patients with de novo mNPC who matched our inclusion criteria. Three-year CSS and OS for the whole cohort was 29.8% and 27.9%, respectively. Univariate analysis indicated that CSS and OS were influenced by age, histology, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, and liver metastasis. Neither the number of metastatic sites nor their specific location in bone, lungs, distant lymph nodes or brain significantly affected CSS or OS. The aforementioned independent prognosticators continued to significantly influence survival following multivariate analysis. Taking distant metastasis without liver involvement as a reference, liver metastasis was associated significantly with shorter OS at a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.581 (P = .021) and CSS at a HR of 1.643 (P = .016). Older age, keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma, no chemotherapy, and no radiotherapy were also prognosticators for poor OS (P < .05). Similar results were documented for CSS (P < .05).

Conclusion: For patients with de novo mNPC, liver metastasis is an independent prognosticator for inferior CSS and OS.

Level of evidence: 3a Laryngoscope, 131:E1130-E1138, 2021.

Keywords: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; SEER; metastasis; prognosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma / mortality
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / pathology*
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • SEER Program
  • Survival Rate
  • United States