[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
April 17, 1972

Role of Chemotherapy

JAMA. 1972;220(3):405-406. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200030063018

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


Except among the Chinese, malignant disease of the nasopharynx is a rare condition. However, several large series have reported an incidence rate in white populations of about 0.25% of all malignant tumors.

Initial treatment is usually by radiotherapy, irrespective of the histology of the primary tumor, and results in a five-year cure rate of from 15% to 30%.54 It is unlikely that the prognosis for neoplasms arising at this site will improve unless new modes of therapy are developed, since over 70% of patients present with cervical lymph node metastasis.5-4 The anatomy of the region is complex, making surgical resection impracticable; bone erosion is a common finding on initial examination.

Since at least 70% of all patients fail to respond to orthodox management,54 I have been concerned with the possibilities of palliating these unfortunate patients; it is rarely appreciated that the natural expectation of life for "failed"