Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) represents an interesting model in the field of head and neck cancers. This cancer is rare in occidental countries (<1/100,000) and relatively moderate to highly frequent in the Mediterranean area and south-east Asia. This disease is linked to Epstein-Barr virus with a latent infection starting in the oropharyngeal epithelium and involving not only both epithelial tumor cells but also B lymphocytes. This viral infection represents the early phase of carcinogenesis where Latent Membrane Protein-1 has an important role via the terminal part of the BARF-1 gene. There are also various chromosomal alterations reported in NPC concerning the regions of chromosomes 3p, 9p, 11q, 13q, 14q et 16q detected essentially in areas of suppressors genes. Allelic and antigenic specificities of class II and II HLA seems to be associated to an increased risk of NPC different according to the incidence areas. Anti-EBV serology is suggestive of for NPC with an elevated level of IgA EA (early antigen) and VCA (viral capsid antigen). Cyfra 21 represents a promising serum marker for NPC with a 80% sensitivity. Radiotherapy remains the base of loco-regional treatment with a more frequent and systematic use of systemic chemotherapy (primary or concomitant) for high-risk-patients (T3-4 and N2-3 disease).
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Gène suppresseur
- Marqueur tumoral
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine