Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Current treatment options and future directions

Shumaila Saad, Tony J. C Wang

Abstract


The prevalence of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) has remained high in endemic regions. Various genetic and epigenetic changes synergistically contribute to NPC pathogenesis. Although NPC is highly radiosensitive and chemosensitive, treatment of patients with advanced locoregional disease remains challenging. RT with or without chemotherapy remains the standard treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma with IMRT now the preferred technique over conventional radiotherapy techniques because of its ability to deliver high doses of radiations to target structures while sparing the surrounding healthy tissues. New treatment options including targeted monoclonal antibodies and small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors are being studied as well. In this article we will review the current standards of care, new techniques and treatment options for NPC.


Keywords


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma; Radiation therapy; Chemotherapy; Chemoradiotherapy; Targeted therapy

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15383/jnpc.16

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