• nasopharyngeal neoplasms;
  • hepatitis B virus;
  • comorbidity;
  • drug toxicity;
  • prognosis


The current study investigated the prevalence and prognostic value of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) from an area in southern China in which HBV and NPC are endemic.


A total of 1301 patients with nonmetastatic, histologically proven NPC who were treated with radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy were retrospectively reviewed.


In this series, 142 of the 1301 patients (10.9%) had chronic HBV infection (hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg] seropositive). The percentages of non–cancer-related deaths (15.0% vs 12.1%; P = .618) and severe hepatic adverse events (3.5% vs 0.9%; P = .145) were similar among patients with NPC with and without HBV infection. The 5-year overall survival (OS), progression-free survival (PFS), and locoregional recurrence-free survival (LRFS) rates for patients with NPC with or without HBV infection were 70.9% and 80.8% (P = .003), 63.7% and 73.0% (P = .016), and 81.7% and 88.2% (P = .035), respectively. Multivariate analysis identified chronic HBV infection in patients with NPC as an independent unfavorable prognostic factor for OS (hazards ratio [HR], 1.684; P = .003), PFS (HR, 1.451; P = .015), and LRFS (HR, 1.573; P = .048). Further analysis revealed that chronic HBV infection was an unfavorable, independent prognostic factor in patients with locoregionally advanced NPC, but not those with early-stage disease. In patients with stage III/IV NPC, HBsAg-positive patients had poorer OS (64.0% vs 77.2%; P = .003), PFS (56.2% vs 70.6%; P = .004), and LRFS (76.2% vs 88.3%; P = .002) compared with HBsAg-negative patients. On multivariate analysis, chronic HBV infection was found to be an independent adverse prognostic predictor for OS (HR, 1.734; P = .004), PFS (HR, 1.644; P = .003), and LRFS (HR, 2.108; P = .003) in patients with stage III/IV NPC.


Chronic HBV infection is an independent adverse prognostic factor in patients with locoregionally advanced NPC. Cancer 2014;120:68–76. © 2013 American Cancer Society.