On January 6, 2021, the joint international guidelines on nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), were collaborated on by the Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), and published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 33.0). These are the first international evidence-based guidelines led by Chinese scholars and academic organizations in the field of medicine, representing a milestone in the development of oncology in China.
The CSCO and ASCO convened an expert panel of radiation oncology, medical oncology, surgery, and advocacy representatives. Prof. Jun Ma and Prof. Ying Sun from Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center were the co-chairs and the corresponding authors of the research. Dr. Yupei Chen also from Sun Yat-sen University was the first author and one of the other three CSCO representatives in the panel. Other panel members included experts from Hong Kong, Taiwan, the United States, Canada and Singapore.
Meeting members convene virtually
The aim of the joint guidelines is to provide evidence-based recommendations to practicing physicians and other health care providers on the definitive-intent chemoradiotherapy for patients with stage II-IVA nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The literature search included systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and randomized controlled trials published from 1990 to 2020. Outcomes of interest included survival, distant and locoregional disease control, and quality of life. Expert panel members used this evidence and informal consensus to develop evidence-based guideline recommendations. It identified 108 relevant studies to inform the evidence base for such guidelines. Five overarching clinical questions were addressed, which included sub-questions on radiotherapy (RT), chemotherapy sequencing, and concurrent, induction, and adjuvant chemotherapy options. A number of evidence-based recommendations were developed to address aspects of care related to chemotherapy in combination with RT for the definitive-intent treatment of stage II to IVA NPC.
In the field of medicine, the ultimate goal of all medical research is to benefit patients. The high-quality evidence-based guidelines are the most effective means to achieve this goal. Chinese scholars have the richest experience in the management of NPC around the world, allowing such wisdom to contribute to international guidelines for the benefit of patients worldwide.