J Cancer 2021; 12(1):18-27. doi:10.7150/jca.49944

Research Paper

Clinical value of docetaxel plus cisplatin (TP) induction chemotherapy followed by TP concurrent chemoradiotherapy in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma

Hao-Yun Tao1*, Ze-Jiang Zhan1*, Wen-Ze Qiu1, Kai Liao1, Ya-Wei Yuan1, Tai-Ze Yuan2,#,✉, Rong-Hui Zheng1,#,✉

1. Department of Radiation Oncology, Affiliated Cancer Hospital & Institute of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou, 510090, Guangdong, P. R. China.
2. Department of Radiation Oncology, Guangzhou Concord Cancer Center, Guangzhou, 510045, Guangdong, P. R. China.
* Contributed equally as co-first authors.
#Contributed equally as correspondence authors

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Tao HY, Zhan ZJ, Qiu WZ, Liao K, Yuan YW, Yuan TZ, Zheng RH. Clinical value of docetaxel plus cisplatin (TP) induction chemotherapy followed by TP concurrent chemoradiotherapy in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma. J Cancer 2021; 12(1):18-27. doi:10.7150/jca.49944. Available from https://www.jcancer.org/v12p0018.htm

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Objective: To investigate the clinical value of induction chemotherapy (IC) with docetaxel plus cisplatin (TP) followed by concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) with TP in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).

Methods: A total of 544 patients with locoregionally advanced NPC that was newly diagnosed from January 2009 to December 2015 were included in this study. Among these patients, 251 were treated with TP induction chemotherapy followed by CCRT with cisplatin (DDP) alone (TP + DDP group), 167 were treated with TP followed by CCRT with TP (TP + TP group), and 126 were treated with docetaxel, DDP and fluorouracil (TPF) followed by CCRT with DDP alone (TPF + DDP group). Overall survival (OS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS), progression-free survival (PFS) and locoregional relapse-free survival (LRRFS) were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and a Cox proportional hazards model.

Results: Survival analysis showed that the 5-year OS, PFS and DMFS rates in the TP + DDP group were significantly lower than those in the TP + TP group after propensity score matching (PSM). Multivariate analysis revealed that CCRT with TP was an independent prognostic factor for OS, PFS and DMFS. During CCRT, the incidence rates of grade 3/4 nausea/vomiting, oral mucositis, leukocytopenia and neutropenia were significantly increased in the TP + TP group compared with the TP + DDP group (all P < 0.05). To further explore the value of TP + TP, we performed PSM again with the TPF + DDP group. After PSM, there were 100 patients in each group. Survival analysis showed no significant differences in the 5-year OS, PFS, DMFS and LRRFS rates between the two groups. During IC and CCRT, the rate of grade 3/4 nausea/vomiting in the TPF + DDP group was higher than that in the TP+TP group (9.0% vs. 2.0%, P = 0.030; 18.0% vs. 8.0%, P = 0.036, respectively). No significant difference in the incidence of grade 3/4 hematologic toxicity was found between the two groups (all P > 0.05).

Conclusion: TP + TP can reduce the distant metastasis of locoregionally advanced NPC and improve OS compared with TP + DDP; TP + TP has the same effect as TPF + DDP and is clinically feasible.

Keywords: Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, concurrent chemoradiotherapy, propensity score matching, docetaxel, cisplatin