Improved outcome of nasopharyngeal carcinoma treated with conventional radiotherapy

Mauro Palazzi, Marco Guzzo, Stefano Tomatis, Annamaria Cerrotta, Paolo Potepan, Pasquale Quattrone, Giulio Cantù

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To describe the outcome of patients with nonmetastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) treated with conventional radiotherapy at a single institution. From 1990 to 1999, 171 consecutive patients with NPC were treated with conventional (two-dimensional) radiotherapy. Tumor histology was undifferentiated in 82% of cases. Tumor-node-metastasis Stage (American Joint Committee on Cancer/International Union Against Cancer 1997 system) was I in 6%, II in 36%, III in 22%, and IV in 36% of patients. Mean total radiation dose was 68.4 Gy. Chemotherapy was given to 62% of the patients. The median follow-up for surviving patients was 6.3 years (range, 3.1-13.1 years). The 5-year overall survival, disease-specific survival, and disease-free survival rates were 72%, 74%, and 62%, respectively. The 5-year local, regional, and distant control rates were 84%, 80%, and 83% respectively. Late effects of radiotherapy were prospectively recorded in 100 patients surviving without relapse; 44% of these patients had Grade 3 xerostomia, 33% had Grade 3 dental damage, and 11% had Grade 3 hearing loss. This analysis shows an improved outcome for patients treated from 1990 to 1999 compared with earlier retrospective series, despite the use of two-dimensional radiotherapy. Late toxicity, however, was substantial with conventional radiotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1451-1458
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Oncology Biology Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2004


  • Consecutive series
  • Conventional radiotherapy
  • Late effects
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiation


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