Induction chemotherapy in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Clinical outcomes and patterns of care

Prashant Gabani, Justin Barnes, Alexander J. Lin, Soumon Rudra, Peter Oppelt, Douglas Adkins, Jason T. Rich, Jose P. Zevallos, Mackenzie D. Daly, Hiram A. Gay, Wade L. Thorstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The role of induction chemotherapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remains controversial. The primary aim of this study was to use the National Cancer Database to evaluate the patterns of care of induction chemotherapy in NPC and its impact on overall survival (OS). Patients with NPC from 2004 to 2014 were obtained from the NCDB. Patients were considered to have received induction chemotherapy if it was started ≥43 days before the start of RT and concurrent CRT if chemotherapy started within 21 days after the start of RT. Propensity score matching was used to control for selection bias. Cox proportional hazards model was used to determine significant predictors of OS. Logistic regression model was used to determine predictors of the use of induction chemotherapy. Significance was defined as a P value <.05. A total of 4857 patients were identified: 4041 patients (87.2%) received concurrent CRT and 816 patients (16.8%) received induction chemotherapy. The use of induction therapy remained stable between 2004 and 2014. Younger patients and those with higher T- and N-stage had a higher likelihood of being treated with induction chemotherapy. The 5-year OS in patients treated with induction chemotherapy and CRT was 66.3% vs 69.1%, respectively (P =.25). There was no difference in OS when these two groups were analyzed after propensity score matching. No differences in OS existed between these treatment groups in patients with T3-T4N1 or TanyN2-3 disease (P =.76). Propensity score matching also did not reveal any difference in OS in patients with T3-T4N1 or TanyN2-3 disease. The use of induction chemotherapy has remained stable in the last decade. In this study of patients with NPC, induction chemotherapy was not associated with improved OS compared to CRT alone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3592-3603
Number of pages12
JournalCancer medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Induction Chemotherapy
  • NCDB
  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharynx
  • Propensity Score Matching


Dive into the research topics of 'Induction chemotherapy in the treatment of nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Clinical outcomes and patterns of care'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this