Many studies were conducted to determine the survival and long-term morbidities of nasopharyngeal cancer. This is a common type of cancer in South East Asia and usually treated by radiotherapy in their early stages. However, when the infection spread to other parts of the body and enters the metastasis stage, the disease becomes incurable.
Alternative Treatment For Nasopharyngeal Cancer
While there is no proven alternative treatment for this type of cancer, yet clinical therapies are perhaps an effective option. Radiotherapy remains the standard treatment for nasopharyngeal carcinoma in their early stages.
Biological Therapy Or Immunotherapy
With the latest advancements and innovations in the medical arena, biological therapies, a new form of treatment is being tested.
Biological therapy also known as immunotherapy helps to strengthen or restore the immune’s system ability to fight cancer. This therapy is often used in a situation when nasopharyngeal cancer has reoccurred, metastasized or not responding to chemotherapeutic medications like cisplatin or carboplatin.
This treatment involves the usage of a biological drug called bevacizumab which has the potential to inhibit the growth of a compound known as a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Clinical studies state that patients suffering from NPC have lower levels of VEGF and this biological drug helps combat the deficiency and showed promising results in the clinical trials. In addition, the individual can live disease-free after the treatment. Investigations are going on to determine whether this therapy will improve the overall survival rate when combined with chemotherapy.
Side Effects Of Immunotherapy
All the treatments carried out for nasopharyngeal cancer is equally accompanied by side effects. Similarly, biological therapy has its own side effects. The side effects majorly depend on the type of drug or combination used. Listed below are the common side effects
Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT)
This treatment is an interesting technique for these tumors and can target cancer cells as opposed to standard radiation. They show improved protection for the adjacent healthy tissue when compared to conventional radiation therapy. IMRT has excellent locoregional control for nasopharyngeal cancer however late toxicities develop after a couple of years so this therapy requires careful long-term follow-up
Targeted Therapy For Nasopharyngeal Cancer
Treatment options for nasopharyngeal cancer are purely based on the stage of cancer. However, advanced researches have been made to explore the changes in the cells that cause cancer and the targeted drugs were developed to meet the changing requirements. These drugs have higher potential and found success when chemo drugs failed. They also help to make chemo drugs work better. (1) (3)
Is Nasopharyngeal Cancer A Progressive Disease?
This condition turns progressive and nasopharyngeal carcinoma gets fatal. Patients suffering from this condition have a limited survival time due to the progressive nature of the disease.
Progressive disease or illness is a physical condition whose development in most situations is the deteriorating growth or multiplication of the cancerous cells. This condition will prolong until the disease turns fatal or organ failure occurs. However, some of these conditions can be halted and reversed using suitable treatments.
Apparently, nasopharyngeal cancer turns progressive when the tumor is chemo responsive. Soon, the infection enters the bloodstream and starts spreading to other organs in the body it becomes metastasis. The most frequently infected organs are the lungs, liver, and bones.
This cancer has an incidence of 5-6 persons for every 100,000 individuals a year and ranks 6th leading cause of cancer disease in male patients and 11th in female patients. The survival rate of a patient with metastatic disease with regard to lungs is 11- 13 months, bones 6- 8 months and liver 3-5 months. (1) (2)
There are many emerging treatment options available for treating nasopharyngeal cancer that can precisely identify and attack cancer cells. There are also resource programs for cancer patients. Connect with these resources and get the necessary help.
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