Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: nationwide trends in incidence and survival over three decades in an non-endemic area

incidence nasopharyngeal carcinoma survival, Epstein-Barr virus

dr. S.F. Oosting
Dr. B. van der Vegt
B.A.C van Dijk

Nature of the research:
Analysis of data from the Dutch National Cancer Registry (IKR) and the Dutch National Pathology Registry (PALGA) from patients diagnosed with nasopharyngeal carcinoma between 1989 and 2018.

Fields of study:
epidemiology oncology pathology

Background / introduction
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a rare and heterogeneous disease in the Netherlands. Keratinizing squamous cell carcinomas are commonly associated with tobacco exposure, while non-keratinizing tumors are frequently related to Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infection. The incidence and mortality of NPC has decreased in many endemic areas over the last decades (1,2), but little is known about incidence and survival over time in non-endemic areas.
Research question / problem definition
Did the incidence of NPC decrease and did overall survival increase over the last 30 years in the Netherlands? Is there a difference in trends for incidence and survival over time for EBV related and non-EBV related NPC?
We have obtained combined data from the Netherlands Cancer Registry and the nationwide pathology database PALGA of around 2000 NPC patients. We will describe the number of new diagnoses per year and calculate annual incidence. Cases will be sub-classified by histology (non-keratinizing undifferentiated and differentiated, keratinizing and basaloid squamous cell carcinoma), EBV status if available, TNM stage, age and sex, and we will analyze changes in subgroups over time. Similarly, trends in survival over time will be analyzed for the whole population and for subgroups.
1. Lee AW, Foo W, Mang O, et al. Changing epidemiology of nasopharyngeal carcinoma in Hong Kong over a 20-year period (1980-99): an encouraging reduction in both incidence and mortality. Int J Cancer. 2003;103:680-5.
2. Hsu C, Shen YC, Cheng CC, et al. Difference in the incidence trend of nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal carcinomas in Taiwan: implication from age-period-cohort analysis. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2006;15:856-61.
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