Background. Recurrent undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinoma (UNPC) is a chemosensitive illness. Here we report long-term results of high-dose chemotherapy (HDC) as late intensification, with autologous peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) support. Methods. Six patients (5 men, 1 woman; median age 41 years; median ECOG PS = 0) with recurrent UNPC (local, 2; local + nodal, 2; bone metastasis, 2) have been enrolled. All patients had been previously treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy; 3 of 4 local relapses had received a re-irradiation. Every patient received three courses of cisplatin + epirubicin and 1 cycle of epirubicin followed by PBSC collection. A median of 7.2 × 106/kg (range, 4.5-18) CD34+ cells were reinfused, HDC was according ICE scheme: ifosfamide, 2.5 g/m2/d, + carboplatin, 300 mg/m2/d, + VP-16, 300 mg/m2/d days 1 through 4. Results. After conventional chemotherapy, we had 1 CR (16%), 3 PR (50%), and 2 NC (34%). After HDC, we had 4 CR (66%), 1 PR (17%), and 1 MR (17%). Toxicity was manageable. After a median follow-up of 30 months (range, 14-50), two patients are alive without disease (34%), one is alive with bone disease (16%), and three (50%) died of disease at 16, 18, and 24 months. Conclusions. HDC has an acceptable toxicity, can convert PR in CR, and seems effective, with long-lasting CRs.
- Autologous peripheral blood stem cell transplantation
- Nasopharyngeal cancer
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