Palliative Chemotherapy and Targeted Therapy for Recurrent and Metastatic Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: Reminiscences and the Future

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VHF Lee, DLW Kwong

Hong Kong J Radiol 2013;16:252-60

DOI: 10.12809/hkjr1313185

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma of undifferentiated type is an endemic cancer with a high incidence in Southern China, Taiwan, and Singapore, followed by North African countries and Alaska. Despite intensive definitive treatment, regrettably about 30% of patients still suffer from loco-regional relapse or even distant metastasis. Palliative chemotherapy has been the standard treatment for those whose disease is not amenable to further radical surgery or a second course of radiotherapy. Though mainly given with palliative intent, this form of chemotherapy can achieve excellent symptom control and prolong survival. More recently targeted therapy has also been widely evaluated in metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Here we provide a comprehensive review on the use of various types of palliative chemotherapy and targeted therapy for recurrent and metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma by searching the MEDLINE and PubMed databases from 1980 to March 2013. The key words used were “nasopharyngeal”, “nasopharynx”, “recurrent”, “metastatic”, “chemotherapy”, “targeted therapy”, and “immunotherapy”.





未分化型鼻咽癌是一種地方性癌症,在中國南部、台灣和新加坡的發病率偏高,其次為北非國家和阿拉斯加。儘管施以針對性強化治療,仍然有約30%的患者遭受癌症局部復發甚至遠處轉移的痛苦。對於那些不適合接受擴大根治性手術或第二療程放療的患者來說,姑息性化療一向是標準的治療方法。雖然該形式的化療主要以姑息緩解為目的,卻可達到出色的症狀控制並延長生存期。最近,以靶向治療醫治轉移性鼻咽癌被廣泛評估。我們檢索MEDLINE和PubMed數據庫中1980年至2013年3月的相關文獻,全面回顧復發性和轉移性鼻咽癌的各種類型姑息性化療和靶向治療的運用。使用的關鍵字為「鼻咽癌」(nasopharyngeal),「鼻咽部」(nasopharynx),「復發」(recurrent),「轉移」(metastatic),「化療」(chemotherapy),「靶向治療」(targeted therapy)和「免疫治療」(immunotherapy)。