Recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a clinical dilemma and challenge

Tao Xu, J. Tang, M. Gu, L. Liu, W. Wei, H. Yang

Abstract


Recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which represents a small proportion of head-and-neck cancers, has a unique set of patho-clinical characteristics. The management of recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma remains a challenging clinical problem. Traditional treatments offer limited local control and survival benefits; more seriously, they frequently induce severe late complications. Recently, novel treatment techniques and strategies—including precision radiotherapy, endoscopic surgery or transoral robotic resection, third-generation chemotherapy regimens, and targeted therapies and immunotherapy—have provided new hope for patients with recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Some of these patients can potentially be cured with modern treatments. However, a lack of adequate evidence makes it difficult for clinicians to apply these powerful techniques and strategies. Individualized management guidelines, full evaluation of quality of life in these patients, and a further understanding of the mechanisms underlying recurrence are future directions for research into recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

Keywords


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; recurrence; surgery; radiotherapy; chemotherapy; biotherapy

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3747/co.20.1456






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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)