JOURNAL ARTICLE

Plasma Epstein-Barr viral DNA complements TNM classification of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in the era of intensity-modulated radiotherapy

Lu Zhang, Lin-Quan Tang, Qiu-Yan Chen, Huai Liu, Shan-Shan Guo, Li-Ting Liu, Ling Guo, Hao-Yuan Mo, Chong Zhao, Xiang Guo, Ka-Jia Cao, Chao-Nan Qian, Mu-Sheng Zeng, Jian-Yong Shao, Ying Sun, Jun Ma, Ming-Huang Hong, Hai-Qiang Mai
Oncotarget 2016 February 2, 7 (5): 6221-30
26716900

BACKGROUND: The objective of this study is to verify the prognostic value of pretreatment plasma Epstein-Barr viral deoxyribonucleic acid (pEBV DNA) levels in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) patients to complement TNM classification based on the application of the intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) technique.

METHODS: In total, 1467 patients staged at I-IVa-b (M0) and treated with IMRT were retrospectively analyzed at our cancer center from January 2007 to December 2010. Patient survival among different stages and EBV DNA levels were compared.

RESULTS: Outcome analyses of different stages and EBV DNA levels revealed that patients in stages II-III with low EBV DNA levels had similar survival as that of patients in stages IVa-b with low EBV DNA (5-yr overall survival (OS), 94.7% vs. 92.9% (P = 0.141), progression failure-free survival (PFS), 87.2% vs. 89.0% (P = 0.685), distant metastasis failure-free survival (DMFS), 93.5% vs. 92.4% (P = 0.394) and locoregional failure-free survival (LRFS), 93.8% vs. 96.3% (P = 0.523)). Conversely, patients in stages II-III with high EBV DNA had better survival than patients in stages IVa-b with high EBV DNA (5-yr OS, 82.7% vs. 71.7% (P = 0.001), PFS, 70.7% vs. 66.2% (P = 0.047), DMFS, 79.6% vs. 74.8% (P = 0.066) and LRFS, 89.3% vs. 87.6% (P = 0.425)) but poorer survival than patients in stages IVa-b with low EBV DNA (5-yr OS, 82.7% vs. 92.9% (P = 0.025), PFS, 70.7% vs. 89.0, (P < 0.001), DMFS, 79.6% vs. 92.4%, (P = 0.001), LRFS, 89.3% vs. 96.3%, (P = 0.022)).

CONCLUSIONS: pEBV DNA is a strong prognostic factor for patients with NPC when complemented with TNM staging in the era of IMRT application.

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