Background: Given the distinct biological characteristics and regional distribution of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) compared with other head and neck cancers, and uncertainties regarding therapeutic strategies, physicians require high-quality clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) to provide transparent recommendations for NPC treatment. This study aimed to critically appraise the quality of NPC CPGs and assess the consistency of their recommendations. Methods: We identified CPGs that provided recommendations on the diagnosis and management of NPC published up to December 2015. Four investigators independently appraised CPG quality using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation (AGREE) II instrument. Key recommendations by CPGs were also evaluated. Results: A total of 7 CPGs were eligible for this study: 5 produced by professional organizations or governmental agencies and 2 were developed based on expert consensus. Of the 6 AGREE II domains, the applicability domain scored consistently low across CPGs (range, 13.5%–30.2%); no CPG achieved a score of >50% in all 6 domains. The scope and purpose domain (≥73.6% for 4 CPGs) and editorial independence domain (≥75.0% for 6 CPGs) scored highest. Of the 23 AGREE II items, 9 scored less than half of the points available in all 7 CPGs. The recommendations by CPGs were consistent in general; heterogeneity mainly existed among recommended therapeutic strategies. Conclusions: Variation exists in NPC CPG development processes and recommendations. Increased efforts are required to make comprehensive resources available to guide healthcare providers and enhance delivery of high-quality, evidence-based care for NPC. International collaboration is necessary to enable the development of high-quality and regionally relevant CPGs for NPC.
Yu-Pei Chen, Ya-Qin Wang, Wen-Fei Li, Lei Chen, Cheng Xu, Tai-Xiang Lu, Ai-Hua Lin, Ji-Jin Yao, Yang-Chan Li, Ying Sun, Yan-Ping Mao and Jun Ma
Bing-Yen Wang, Ping-Yi Lin, Shiao-Chi Wu, Hui-Shan Chen, Po-Kuei Hsu, Chih-Shiun Shih, Chao-Yu Liu, Chia-Chuan Liu and Yao-Li Chen
The prognostic value for the post-chemoradiation therapy (CRT) pathologic stage is uncertain. The purpose of this study was to compare the pathologic stage in patients undergoing esophagectomy with and without preoperative CRT for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). This study retrospectively reviewed the data from 2151 patients with ESCC who underwent esophagectomy with or without preoperative CRT between 2008 and 2011 in Taiwan. Patients were divided into 2 groups. Group A consisted of patients treated with primary surgery without prior treatments (n=1301), and group B consisted of patients receiving preoperative CRT followed by esophagectomy (n=850). In group A, 679 patients received surgery alone, 92 received postoperative chemotherapy, 416 received postoperative chemoradiation therapy, and 114 received postoperative radiation therapy. In group A, the 3-year survival rates by pathologic stage were 82.2% for stage 0, 67.6% for stage I, 50.7% for stage II, 21.5% for stage III, and 14.8% for stage IV (P<.001). In group B, the 3-year survival rates of post-CRT pathologic stages 0, I, II, III, and IV were 59.4%, 46.0%, 40.3%, 19.1%, and 8.2%, respectively (P<.001). In multivariate analysis, the pathologic T, N, and M were all independent prognostic factors in both group A (esophagectomy alone) and B (CRT plus esophagectomy). The current, 7th edition of the esophageal TNM staging system could adequately stratify prognostic groups in patients with squamous cell carcinoma who were treated with preoperative CRT and esophagectomy.