Nasopharyngeal Cancer: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 01/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of cancer and how to treat it. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Doctors are working to learn more about NPC, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.

Biologic therapy. Biologic therapy, also called immunotherapy, is designed to boost the body’s natural defenses to fight cancer. It uses materials made either by the body or in a laboratory to improve, target, or restore immune system function. Treatment based on the specific biologic characteristics of a tumor is being used with increasing frequency and being tested in clinical trials. People should talk with their doctors about the availability of these studies. Learn more about immunotherapy.

Combining therapies. As described in the Treatment Options section, doctors continue to research the best combinations of different types of therapies, such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery, for different stages of NPC.

Supportive care. Clinical trials are underway to find better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current nasopharyngeal cancer treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life. This includes ways of relieving dry mouth (xerostomia), mouth sores, pain, and other side effects.

To find clinical trials specific to your diagnosis, talk with your doctor or search online clinical trial databases now.

The next section addresses how to cope with the symptoms of the disease or the side effects of its treatment. Use the menu on the side of your screen to select Coping with Side Effects, or you can select another section, to continue reading this guide.