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April 1987

Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma and Nasal Allergy

Author Affiliations

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1987;113(4):438. doi:10.1001/archotol.1987.01860040100033

To the Editor.—In my experience of at least 100 consecutive patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma, detailed history revealed that none of them suffered from any type of nasal allergy clinically. Is this a coincidence, and can a correlation be established that will apply to this observation?

Nasal allergy, caused by allergens, is mainly an IgE-mediated type I reaction. However, in allergic airway disease, IgG antibody may act as an anaphylactic, a blocking, or a precipitating antibody to cause an immediate reaction, to inhibit an immediate reaction, or to provoke a delayed type III reaction.1 This is a B-cell–mediated immune system, though certain patients with hay fever have been shown to have T lymphocytes.2

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma, on the other hand, is associated with the Epstein-Barr virus, which involves the T-cell system. In vitro studies have shown, directly or indirectly, the importance of T cells in the control of Epstein-Barr

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