Constructing an individualized surveillance framework for nasopharyngeal carcinoma based on a dynamic risk-adapted approach

Radiother Oncol. 2023 Aug:185:109716. doi: 10.1016/j.radonc.2023.109716. Epub 2023 May 18.


Background and purpose: This study aims to evaluate the dynamic survival and recurrence hazard of nasopharyngeal carcinoma(NPC) patients after definitive chemoradiotherapy utilizing conditional survival(CS) analysis, and to propose a personalized surveillance strategy at different clinical stages.

Materials and methods: Non-metastatic NPC patients who received curative chemotherapy between June 2005 and December 2011 were included. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to calculate the CS rate.

Results: A total of 1616 patients were analyzed. With the prolongation of survival time, both conditional locoregional recurrence free survival and distant metastatic free survival increased gradually. Changing pattern of annual recurrence risk over time varied among different clinical stages. The annual locoregional recurrence(LRR) risk in stage I-II was always less than 2%, while in stage III-IVa, it was greater than 2% for the first three years and decreased to below 2% only after the third year. The annual distant metastases (DM) risk was always less than 2% in stage I, but higher than 2% in stage II for the first 3 years (2.5-3.8%). For those with stage III-IVa, the annual DM risk retained at a high level(>5%), and only decreased to < 5% after the third year. Based on the dynamic changes in survival probability over time, we established a surveillance plan with different follow-up intensities and frequencies for different clinical stages.

Conclusion: The annual risk of LRR and DM decrease over time. Our individual surveillance model will provide critical prognostic information to optimize clinical decision-making, and promote to formulate surveillance counseling and help with resources allocation.

Keywords: Conditional survival; Intensity-modulated radiation therapy; Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Prognostication; Surveillance strategy.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Carcinoma* / pathology
  • Chemoradiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma / pathology
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / pathology
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Radiotherapy, Intensity-Modulated*
  • Retrospective Studies