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Therapeutic outcome of nasopharyngeal carcinoma with cranial nerve palsy: a single institution experience of 104 patients

Authors Huang CC, Fang FM, Chen HC, Hsu HC, Huang TL, Su YL, Chang YC

Received 7 December 2016

Accepted for publication 13 March 2017

Published 10 April 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 2069—2075


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Geoffrey Pietersz

Chun-Chieh Huang,1,2 Fu-Min Fang,1 Hui-Chun Chen,1 Hsuan-Chih Hsu,1 Tai-Lin Huang,3 Yu-Li Su,3 Ya-Chun Chang4

1Department of Radiation Oncology, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, 2Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, 3Department of Hematology and Oncology, 4Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Republic of China

Cranial nerve (CN) palsy is the main symptom in patients with locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic outcome of NPC with CN palsy and to analyze the prognostic factors.
Patients and methods: A total of 104 NPC patients with CN palsy curatively treated by conventional (n=44) or conformal (n=60) radiotherapy (RT) were enrolled. Upper CN palsy was present in 81 patients, lower CN palsy in four patients, and both upper and lower CN palsy in 19 patients. Forty-one patients had CN palsy for >2 months before diagnosis.
Results: Complete recovery of CN palsy was observed in 74 patients. The actuarial 5-year locoregional control (LRC), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), and overall survival (OS) rates were 58.2%, 62.2%, and 38.4%, respectively. No significant difference was observed in CN recovery, LRC, DMFS, or OS for patients treated by conventional versus conformal technique. However, significant reduction of grade 3 or greater toxicities was found in those treated by the conformal technique (odds ratio =0.28).
Conclusion: Patients with CN palsy presenting >2 months before diagnosis were hard to recover from palsy. The LRC, OS, and recovery from CN palsy did not significantly change with the treatment evolution. Patients with complete recovery from CN palsy had longer OS.

nasopharyngeal carcinoma, cranial nerve palsy, radiotherapy

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