This study was carried out to determine the role of plasma Epstein–Barr virus (pEBV)-DNA and positron-emission tomography (PET)-CT scan in predicting the outcome of nasopharyngectomy and cervical lymphadenectomy for recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
Between 2007 and 2009, we recruited patients who had local or regional recurrent NPC after radiotherapy. The relationship between preoperative pEBV-DNA level, maximal standard uptake value (SUVmax), and surgical outcome was analyzed.
Forty-two patients had local tumor recurrence. Their median pEBV-DNA level and SUVmax were 348 copies and 4.7, respectively. Both values were significantly lower than those with palliative nasopharyngectomy. Twenty-two patients had regional failure. Their mean pEBV-DNA level and tumor SUVmax were 626 copies and 7.6, respectively. The metastatic lymph nodes with extracapsular spread had a significantly higher mean SUVmax.
Preoperative pEBV-DNA and PET-CT predict the surgical outcome of nasopharyngectomy for recurrent NPC. Similarly, PET-CT scan predicts the presence of extracapsular spread of metastatic lymph nodes. These patients may warrant further postoperative adjuvant therapy. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck, 2012