Chemotherapy for Nasopharyngeal Cancer: Neoadjuvant, Concomitant, and/or Adjuvant

  • Wai Tong Ng
  • Amy T. Y. Chang
  • Sarah W. M. Lee
  • Henry C. K. Sze
  • Anne W. M. LeeEmail author
Head and Neck Cancer (J-P Machiels, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Head and Neck Cancer

Opinion Statement

Nasopharyngeal cancers are unique among other head and neck cancers, not only in epidemiology and histological characteristics, but also on treatment strategies as well. Radiotherapy is the primary treatment due to its radiosensitivity. In locally advanced stages, concurrent chemoradiation has been established to be effective to eradicate the disease and improve survival, in favor of radiotherapy alone. While increasing studies have explored the potential benefit of adding more chemotherapy to the concurrent regimen, whether adjuvant or neoadjuvant, it is generally agreed that proper patient selection is needed to stratify high-risk groups to intensify treatment and to optimize the disease outcome. Future studies are ongoing, possibly with the addition of biomarkers such as EBV DNA for risk group stratification. Refinement of patient groups that should be selected for combined modality treatment in stage II disease is also warranted.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma Chemotherapy Sequence Efficacy Toxicity Meta-analysis 


Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Wai Tong Ng, Amy T.Y. Chang, Sarah W.M. Lee, Henry C.K. Sze, and Anne W.M. Lee declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

References and Recommended Reading

Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wai Tong Ng
    • 1
  • Amy T. Y. Chang
    • 1
  • Sarah W. M. Lee
    • 1
  • Henry C. K. Sze
    • 2
  • Anne W. M. Lee
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Clinical OncologyPamela Youde Nethersole Eastern HospitalChai WanHong Kong
  2. 2.Clinical Oncology CenterUniversity of Hong Kong-Shenzhen HospitalShenzhenChina

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