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Despite modern radiotherapy and open surgical techniques, treatment of recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) remains challenging, with substantial morbidity involved. Targeted endoscopic nasopharyngectomy was evaluated as a viable oncologic alternative to open nasopharyngectomy or radiation for recurrent NPC.Thirteen patients who underwent endoscopic nasopharyngectomy for recurrent NPC between August 2005 and August 2010 were retrospectively reviewed. Average age at surgery was 55.7 years, with mean follow-up period 24.2 months. Two-year disease-free survival, 2-year overall survival, margin status, and complication rate were measured.Including resections for subsequent recurrences, 19 endoscopic procedures were performed with curative intent. Mean operating room (OR) time was 278 minutes, mean estimated blood loss was 197 mL, and mean length of hospitalization was 1.0 days. Negative margins were obtained in 78.9% of procedures: positive margins involved the parapharyngeal space, oropharynx, fossa of Rosenmuller, and infratemporal fossa. Stereotactic radiation was given postoperatively for localized positive margins. Four patients required repeat endoscopic nasopharyngectomy for re-recurrence, despite having their margins cleared or controlled with adjuvant treatment. Two-year local disease-free and overall survival rates were 69.2% and 100.0%, respectively. The overall minor complication rate was 52.6%, with no major complications.Targeted endoscopic nasopharyngectomy is beneficial in locally recurrent NPC, with favorable morbidity and complication rates. Endoscopic surveillance and serial imaging together facilitate the early identification of re-recurrences, which often may be treated with additional directed resection. Postoperative stereotactic radiation may serve as an appropriate adjunct modality for disease control at positive margins.
View details for DOI 10.1002/alr.20111
View details for PubMedID 22170783