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    Nasopharyngeal Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Recurrent Nasopharyngeal Cancer

    Standard treatment options:

    1. Selected patients with local recurrence may be retreated with moderate-dose external-beam radiation therapy using intensity-modulated radiation therapy, stereotactic radiation therapy, or intracavitary or interstitial radiation to the site of recurrence.[1,2,3]
    2. In highly selected patients, surgical resection of locally recurrent lesions may be considered.
    3. If a patient has metastatic disease or local recurrence that is no longer amenable to surgery or radiation therapy, chemotherapy should be considered.[4,5,6]

    Treatment options under clinical evaluation:

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    • Clinical trials evaluating chemotherapy should be considered.
    • Stereotactic radiation for locally recurrent disease or persistence.[7,8,9][Level of evidence: 3iiiDiv]

    Current Clinical Trials

    Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent nasopharyngeal cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.

    General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.

    References:

    1. Mendenhall WM, Werning JW, Pfister DG: Treatment of head and neck cancer. In: DeVita VT Jr, Lawrence TS, Rosenberg SA: Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2011, pp 729-80.
    2. Vikram B, Strong EW, Shah JP, et al.: Intraoperative radiotherapy in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer. Am J Surg 150 (4): 485-7, 1985.
    3. Koutcher L, Lee N, Zelefsky M, et al.: Reirradiation of locally recurrent nasopharynx cancer with external beam radiotherapy with or without brachytherapy. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 76 (1): 130-7, 2010.
    4. Al-Sarraf M: Head and neck cancer: chemotherapy concepts. Semin Oncol 15 (1): 70-85, 1988.
    5. Jacobs C, Lyman G, Velez-García E, et al.: A phase III randomized study comparing cisplatin and fluorouracil as single agents and in combination for advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. J Clin Oncol 10 (2): 257-63, 1992.
    6. Foo KF, Tan EH, Leong SS, et al.: Gemcitabine in metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma of the undifferentiated type. Ann Oncol 13 (1): 150-6, 2002.
    7. Chua DT, Sham JS, Kwong PW, et al.: Linear accelerator-based stereotactic radiosurgery for limited, locally persistent, and recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma: efficacy and complications. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 56 (1): 177-83, 2003.
    8. Pai PC, Chuang CC, Wei KC, et al.: Stereotactic radiosurgery for locally recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Head Neck 24 (8): 748-53, 2002.
    9. Xiao J, Xu G, Miao Y: Fractionated stereotactic radiosurgery for 50 patients with recurrent or residual nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys 51 (1): 164-70, 2001.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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