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Efficacy of metastatic lesion radiotherapy in patients with metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma: A multicenter retrospective study.

OBJECTIVE: We investigated the efficacy of metastatic lesion radiotherapy (MLRT) in patients with metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (mNPC).

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients with mNPC from three institutions were included in this study. Propensity score matching (PSM) was employed to ensure comparability between patient groups. Overall survival (OS) rates were assessed using the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using the log-rank test. Prognostic factors were identified using univariate and multivariate Cox hazard analyses. Subgroup analyses were conducted to assess the effects of MLRT on specific patient populations.

RESULTS: We analyzed data from 1157 patients with mNPC. Patients who received MLRT had significantly better OS than those who did not, both in the original (28 vs. 21 months) and PSM cohorts (26 vs. 23 months). MLRT was identified as an independent favorable predictor of OS in multivariate analyses, with hazard ratios of 0.67. The subgroup analysis results indicated that radiotherapy effectively treated liver, lung, and bone metastatic lesions, particularly in patients with a limited tumor burden. Higher total radiation doses of MLRT (biologically effective dose (BED) ≥ 56 Gy) were associated with improved OS, while neither radiation technique nor dose fractionation independently influenced prognosis.

CONCLUSIONS: MLRT offers survival advantages to patients diagnosed with mNPC. Patients with limited metastatic burden derive the most benefit from MLRT, and the recommended regimen for MLRT is a minimum BED of 56 Gy for optimal outcomes.

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