Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA analysis has been shown to be useful for early detection, prognostication, and monitoring of treatment response of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), and the recent literature provides growing evidence of the clinical utility of EBV DNA testing, particularly to inform treatment decisions for NPC patients. Despite the fact that NPC is a rare disease, the NRG Oncology cooperative group has successfully activated a phase 2/3 randomized clinical trial for NPC with international partners and in that process has discovered that the development of a harmonized EBV DNA test is absolutely critical for integration into clinical trials and for future deployment in clinical and central laboratories. In November 2015, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened a workshop of international experts in the treatment of NPC and EBV testing to provide a forum for discussing the state of EBV DNA testing and its clinical utility, and to stimulate consideration of future studies and clinical practice guidelines for EBV DNA. This review provides a summary of that discussion.
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