Journal Article
Multicenter Study
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Endoscopic surgery versus intensity-modulated radiotherapy in locally advanced recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a multicenter, case-matched comparison.

BACKGROUND: The management of locally advanced recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma (rNPC) is challenging. The objective of our study was to compare salvage endoscopic nasopharyngectomy (ENPG) with intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in clinical outcomes and complications of locally advanced rNPC.

METHODS: Patients with histologically confirmed rNPC in rT3-4 N0-3 M0 stages were retrospectively enrolled between January 2013 and December 2019 in this multicenter, case-matched study. The baseline clinicopathological characteristics of patients were balanced by propensity score matching between the ENPG and IMRT groups. ENPG was performed in patients with easily or potentially resectable tumors. The oncological outcomes as well as treatment-related complications were compared between two groups.

RESULTS: A total of 176 patients were enrolled and 106 patients were matched. The ENPG group (n = 53) and the IMRT group (n = 53) showed comparable outcomes in the 3-year overall survival rate (68.4% vs. 65.4%, P = 0.401), cancer-specific survival rate (80.9% vs. 74.4%, P = 0.076), locoregional failure-free survival rate (36.6% vs. 45.3%, P = 0.076), and progression-free survival rate (27.5% vs. 32.3%, P = 0.216). The incidence of severe treatment-related complications of patients in the ENPG group was lower than that in the IMRT group (37.7% vs. 67.9%, P = 0.002). The most common complications were post perioperative hemorrhage (13.2%) in ENPG group and temporal lobe necrosis (47.2%) in IMRT group, respectively.

CONCLUSION: Salvage ENPG exhibits comparable efficacy but less toxicities than IMRT in carefully screened patients with locally advanced rNPC, which may be a new choice of local treatment.

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