Response of cranial nerve abnormalities in nasopharyngeal carcinoma to radiation therapy

Gary B. Stillwagon, Ding‐Jen ‐J Lee, Howard Moses, Haskins Kashima, Anthony Harris, Michael Johns

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13 Scopus citations


Eighteen of 36 patients (50%) with the diagnosis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma had cranial nerve deficits before definitive radiotherapy. Within this group of 18 patients, there were 34 cranial nerve abnormalities and four Horner's syndromes. Overall, 62% of cranial nerve deficits recovered completely (CR) and 32% recovered partially (PR), for a total response rate of 94% to definitive radiotherapy. The magnitude of response (complete versus partial) depended upon the individual cranial nerve and the pretreatment duration of the abnormality. All of the responses except one occurred within 1 month after the completion of therapy. Complete responses were not obtained when deficits had existed longer than 2 months. However, PRs were obtainable. Seven of seven cases of posttreatment new or recurrent cranial nerve deficits were caused by recurrent tumor. The actuarial 5‐year disease‐free survival for this group of 18 patients was 31%. The results indicate that patients with cranial nerve deficits will respond to definitive radiotherapy and long‐term disease‐free survival can be achieved in some patients. Cancer 57:2272–2274, 1986.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2272-2274
Number of pages3
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 15 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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