Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a malignancy with unique biological and clinical characteristics. It has highly associated with Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) infection and is sensitive to radiotherapy. Due to the extreme relevance between EBV infection and incidence of NPC, testing antibodies against EBV has been applied to screening “high-risk” populations of NPC. The pathological diagnosis of nasopharyngeal biopsy is the gold standard for the diagnosis of NPC. Radiotherapy has been recognized as the first choice for NPC treatment. With the improvement of intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), the 5-year disease-specific survival rate in NPC patients at an early stage has reached 95%. However, the efficacy brought by radiotherapy has reached the bottleneck in advanced patients. Recently, the 5-year overall survival rate was increased around 60-80% in locoregionally advanced NPC patients by introducing concurrent chemoradiotherapy. In addition, molecular targeted therapy and immunotherapy have been introduced to many clinical trials. In this chapter, we mainly focus on the current early screening and diagnosis of NPC patients, and the development of therapeutic approaches.
Part of the book: Pharynx