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Intensity-modulated radiotherapy plus nimotuzumab with or without concurrent chemotherapy for patients with locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Authors Huang JF, Zou QZ, Qian DQ, Zhou LY, Yang B, Chu JJ, Pang QF, Wang KW, Zhang FZ

Received 13 September 2017

Accepted for publication 6 November 2017

Published 8 December 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 5835—5841


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz

Jianfeng Huang,1,* Qinzhou Zou,1,* Danqi Qian,1 Leyuan Zhou,1 Bo Yang,1 Jianjun Chu,1 Qingfeng Pang,2 Kewei Wang,2 Fuzheng Zhang1

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University, 2Department of Epidemiology, Wuxi Medical School of Jiangnan University, Wuxi, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plus nimotuzumab with or without concurrent chemotherapy (CCT) for patients with locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (LA-NPC).
Patients and methods: A total of 50 newly diagnosed patients with LA-NPC treated at the Affiliated Hospital of Jiangnan University between November 2011 and January 2017 were retrospectively analyzed. All patients received the combined treatment modality of nimotuzumab plus IMRT. Nimotuzumab was administered concurrently with IMRT at a weekly dose of 200 mg. Neoadjuvant, concurrent or adjuvant chemotherapy with the doublet regimen of taxanes (docetaxel or paclitaxel) plus platinum (cisplatin or nedaplatin) were administered. Among the 50 patients, 43 (86.0%) received ≥6 cycles of nimotuzumab (median 7 cycles, range 2–14 cycles) and 29 (58.0%) received two cycles of CCT with docetaxel plus nedaplatin.
Results: With a median follow-up of 28.0 months, the 2-year progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival were 83.29% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 67.93%–91.72%) and 97.67% (95% CI: 84.62%–99.67%), respectively. Both univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that cycles of nimotuzumab were significantly associated with PFS. Patients who received ≥6 cycles of nimotuzumab showed a better PFS than those receiving <6 cycles (P=0.006), whereas the addition of CCT failed to improve PFS. Oral mucositis was the most common adverse event, which was recorded as grade 3–4 in 18 (36.0%) patients. Besides, two (4.0%) patients experienced nimotuzumab-related anaphylaxis, and no skin rash was found in any patient. Subgroup analysis revealed that the patients who received CCT had more grade 3–4 adverse events as compared to those who did not receive CCT (62.1% vs 33.3%, P=0.045).
Conclusion: The regime of nimotuzumab plus IMRT for the treatment of LA-NPC was well tolerated, with encouraging survival data, and it could be an effective treatment alternative for patients with LA-NPC. Further clinical trials are needed to confirm these findings.

Keywords: nasopharyngeal carcinoma, intensity-modulated radiotherapy, nimotuzumab, concurrent chemoradiotherapy, treatment outcome

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