Radiation therapy has been the traditional treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Patients with advanced disease have a higher rate of locoregional as well as distant metastases, which has warranted the addition of chemotherapy in an attempt to improve survival. This retrospective study was designed to determine the absolute survival of patients with nasopharyngeal cancer treated with radiation alone, compared to that of patients receiving concurrent chemoradiation. Between December 1975 and December 1993 eight patients were treated with radiotherapy alone and 14 patients were treated with concurrent chemoradiation using 5-fluorouracil and cisplatin. Analysis of Kaplan-Meier cumulative absolute survival plots revealed that patients receiving chemoradiation survived longer than those receiving radiation alone (p=0.0321). Patients with lymphoepithelioma, as opposed to squamous cell carcinoma, and patients younger than 30 years were also found to have longer survival, although these differences were not statistically significant (p=0.0913 and p=0.04044, respectively).
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