Variation in survival for adults with nasopharyngeal cancer in Europe, 1978-1989

Li Jiong, F. Berrino, J. W W Coebergh

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During the period 1978-1989, 2,054 new patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) were registered in the EUROCARE study, which, during 1985- 1989 involved 45 population-based cancer registries in 17 countries. The follow-up time was at least 5 years. 48% of all cases were squamous cell carcinomas and 39% undifferentiated carcinomas, which were more frequent in males. The overall relative 1- and 5-year survival rates (data included from 8 countries with complete data) were 75 and 34%, respectively, for males, and 72 and 32%, respectively, for females, but in a multivariate analysis, there was no significant difference in risk between males and females (0.93 (0.84- 1.01), hazard ratio (HR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for females). The overall relative 5-year survival (data included from nine countries with complete data) declined with age, from 53% for patients aged 15-44 years to 31% for patients aged 65-74 years. For patients with undifferentiated tumours, higher survival rates were observed in Scandinavia, Slovakia and Mediterranean countries, with lower rates for patients from the U.K. and Estonia. Survival for patients with squamous cell carcinoma was lowest in Scotland, England and Estonia. In a multivariate analysis, there was a significant difference in risk of death between those with squamous cell carcinomas and those with undifferentiated (HR 0.82, 95% CI 0.74-0.90). Between 1978 and 1989, the prognosis did not change.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2162-2166
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


  • Adults
  • Europe
  • Histiotype
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • Survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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