Objectives The effect of taxanes-based induction chemotherapy (IC) in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma (LA-NPC) was quite contradictory in two phase II randomized controlled trials with small sample size. We aimed to investigate it in this large scale propensity-matched study. Materials and methods Totally, 779 LA-NPC patients who underwent intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) plus concurrent chemotherapy with or without taxanes-based IC were included. Patients in both treatment arms were matched using propensity score matching method at the ratio of 1:1. Failure-free survival (FFS), overall survival (OS), distant metastasis-free survival (DMFS) and locoregional relapse-free survival (LRFS) were assessed with Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test and Cox regression analysis. Results After matching, 534 patients were identified for analysis. In univariate analysis, both treatment arms resulted in parallel survival (4-years FFS 78.0% vs 74.1%, P = 0.304; OS 87.5% vs 87.3%, P = 0.595; DMFS 88.2% vs 84.4%, P = 0.154; and LRFS 91.2% vs 90.1%, P = 0.960). In multivariate analysis, taxanes-based IC did not improve any survival (P ≥ 0.139). And this association remained unchanged in subgroup analysis by age, sex and histology, and among patients with stage III and T4N0M0. But among patients with T4N1-2M0 and stage IVb, taxanes-based IC significantly prolonged the 4-year DMFS by 11.2% (86.1% vs 74.9%, P = 0.034), and marginally improved FFS (P = 0.133) and OS (P = 0.215) in both univariate and multivariate analysis. Conclusions In this large scale propensity-matched study, LA-NPC patients could not benefit from taxanes-based IC on the whole. But the risk of distant metastasis significantly decreased by above 10% for patients with T4N1-2M0 and stage IVb.
Zhang, L. N., Gao, Y. H., Lan, X. W., Tang, J., Ouyang, P. Y., & Xie, F. Y. (2015). Effect of taxanes-based induction chemotherapy in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma: A large scale propensity-matched study. Oral Oncology, 51(10), 950–956. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oraloncology.2015.07.004