3 years ago

Systemic therapies for recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a systematic review

L L Siu, K A delos Santos, T W Chen, S F Oosting, L Wang, K K W Chan, A Prawira, R Saluja, A R Hansen


The majority of published studies in recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma (RM-NPC) are single-arm trials. Reliable modelling of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) outcomes, therefore, is difficult. This study aim to analyse existent literature to estimate the relative efficacy of available systemic regimens in RM-NPC, as well as provide estimates of aggregate OS and PFS.


We conducted a systematic search of MEDLINE, EMBASE and the Cochrane Library to March 2015. Clinical trials (in English only) investigating cytotoxic and molecularly targeted agents in adult patients with RM-NPC were included. All relevant studies were assessed for quality using Downs and Blacks (DB) checklist (maximum quality score of 27). Aggregate data analysis and Student’s t-test were performed for all identified studies (model A). For studies that published analysable Kaplan−Meier curves, survival data were extracted and marginal proportional hazards models were constructed (model B).


A total of 56 studies were identified and included in model A, 26 of which had analysable Kaplan−Meier curves and were included in model B. The 26 studies in model B had significantly higher mean DB scores than the remaining 30 (17.3 vs 13.7, P=0.002). For patients receiving first line chemotherapy, the estimated median OS was 15.7 months by model A (95% CI, 12.3–19.1), and 19.3 months by model B (95% CI, 17.6–21.1). For patients undergoing second line or higher therapies (2nd+), the estimated median OS was 11.5 months by model A (95% CI 10.1–12.9), and 12.5 months by model B (95% CI 11.9–13.4). PFS estimates for patients undergoing first-line chemotherapy by model A was 7.6 months (95% CI, 6.2–9.0), and 8.0 months by model B (95% CI, 7.6–8.8). For patients undergoing therapy in the 2nd+ setting, the estimated PFS by model A was 5.4 months (95% CI, 3.8–7.0), and 5.2 months by model B (95% CI, 4.7–5.6).


We present the first aggregate estimates of OS and PFS for RM-NPC patients receiving first and second-line or higher treatment settings, which could inform the design of future clinical trials in this disease setting.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/bjc2017357

DOI: 10.1038/bjc.2017.357

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