Chemoradiotherapy with weekly low-dose docetaxel and cisplatin concurrent with radiation for patients with locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma, followed by adjuvant chemotherapy for selected patients†

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We investigated the efficacy and safety of concurrent chemoradiotherapy using weekly low-dose docetaxel and cisplatin in patients with locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma.


This was a retrospective analysis of 31 patients who were treated with this regimen from 2001 to 2014. Concurrent chemoradiotherapy consisted of radiotherapy with a total dose of 59.4–70.2 Gy plus weekly administration of docetaxel (5–10 mg/m2) and cisplatin (20 mg/m2), up to six cycles. At least two cycles of platinum-based adjuvant chemotherapy were prescribed for Stage IV and Stage III patients with partial response or stable disease after concurrent chemoradiotherapy.


Of the 31 patients, 28 (90%) completed concurrent chemoradiotherapy as planned. The overall complete response and partial response rates were 42% and 52%, respectively. Seventeen of the 21 patients who were prescribed adjuvant chemotherapy underwent it. After a median follow-up of 39.1 months for the 23 surviving patients, 9 (29%) developed locoregional recurrence or progression and 6 patients (19%) developed distant metastasis. The 3-year overall survival and progression-free survival rates were 76% and 56%, respectively. Univariate analyses revealed that clinical stage was a significant predictor of complete response, overall survival and progression-free survival. The most serious adverse events were mucositis during concurrent chemoradiotherapy and neutropenia during adjuvant chemotherapy.


This concurrent chemoradiotherapy protocol showed practical efficacy with high feasibility and acceptable toxicity. To improve the progression-free survival of patients with Stage IV disease who are treated by this protocol, changes to their treatment strategy should be considered.

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