Clinicopathological and prognostic features of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in children and adolescents: A retrospective study of 196 cases in South China

Int J Cancer. 2021 Mar 1;148(5):1087-1096. doi: 10.1002/ijc.33293. Epub 2020 Sep 21.

Abstract

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) occurring in children and adolescence is extremely rare and till present there is a lack of understanding on their clinicopathological and prognostic features of this rare entity. For our study, data of 196 cases children and adolescents with NPC from the past 18 years at a high-volume cancer center from South China were retrospectively analyzed. Half of the evaluated NPC patients (83/166, 50.0%) were staged as Stage IVa disease, whereas 1.2% (2/166), 27.7% (46/166), 16.9% (28/166) and 4.2% (7/166) had Stage II, III, IVb and IVc disease, respectively. Serum EBV EA-IgA ≥1:10 and VCA-IgA ≥1:40 were found in 67.7% (113/167) and 76.6% (128/167) of the evaluated patients, respectively, whereas 56.8% (84/148) of the patients had plasma EBV DNA ≥1000 copies/mL. Histologically, all tumors were classified as nonkeratinizing squamous cell carcinoma (NK-SCC). Immunohistochemistrically, the expression of CK (AE1/AE3), P63, CK5/6 and P40 were observed in 100% (88/88), 93.2% (68/73), 84.1% (58/69) and 63.2% (12/19) of the detected cases, respectively. All cases show similar immunophenotype compared to that occurring in adult patients. All evaluated cases (71/71 100%) harbored EBER. Patients with plasma EBV DNA ≥1000 copies/mL and positive serum EBV antibodies had significantly inferior 3-year OS (88% vs 100%, P = .007) compared to other corresponding groups. The combination of EBV serology and plasma EBV DNA are useful to predict the outcome of patients with NPC in children and adolescents.

Keywords: Epstein-Barr virus; South China; children and adolescents; clinicopathologic features; nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma / mortality
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma / therapy
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma / virology
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / mortality
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / therapy
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / virology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies

Substances

  • DNA, Viral