GUANGZHOU, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese research team has proposed a new treatment strategy for nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients, according to Sun Yat-sen University.
Scientists from the university's Cancer Center led a phase III clinical trial, the results of which show that radiotherapy alone can replace concurrent radiotherapy and chemotherapy for patients with low-risk nasopharyngeal carcinoma, giving patients a better quality of life without compromising the curative effect.
China has high rates of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. In recent years, intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has become the mainstream radiotherapy technology for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which has significantly improved the curative effect, said Ma Jun, executive vice president of the center.
Together with several other hospitals, the center conducted research to explore whether nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients at the intermediate stage still need to receive chemotherapy along with IMRT.
The results show that among patients with low-risk nasopharyngeal carcinoma, the survival results of patients receiving radiotherapy alone are similar to those receiving radiotherapy and chemotherapy at the same time.
Meanwhile, those patients who received radiotherapy alone achieved a great reduction in toxic and side effects, and significantly improved quality of life.
The new treatment strategy proposed in the study can improve patients' quality life without degrading the curative effect, and at least 20 percent of nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients are expected to benefit, said Ma.
The study was recently published in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). ■