Nasopharyngeal lymphoma: A 22-year review of 35 cases

Chien Yu Hsueh, Ching Fen Yang, Jyh Pyng Gau, Edward C. Kuan, Ching Yin Ho, Tzeon Jye Chiou, Liang Tsai Hsiao, Ting An Lin, Ming Ying Lan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Nasopharyngeal (NP) lymphoma is a rare primary malignancy of the head and neck and represents a minority of malignancies originating from the nasopharynx. For this reason, there are limited data regarding epidemiologic and treatment outcomes. This is a retrospective review of patients diagnosed with NP lymphoma from 1995 to 2017 at a tertiary medical center. The patients’ demographic data, clinical presentations, treatment modalities, Epstein–Barr virus (EBV)-encoded small RNA (EBER) staining, and outcomes were investigated. We considered a total of 35 patients, including 20 males and 15 females, diagnosed with NP lymphoma. The age ranged from 17 to 88 years (mean = 59.6). The common presentations were nasal obstruction, epistaxis, and neck mass. In our study, the most common pathological diagnosis of NP lymphoma was diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) (n = 17), followed by NK/T cell lymphoma (NKTCL) (n = 9). Other pathologic diagnoses included extranodal marginal zone lymphoma of mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALToma), small lymphocytic lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma. There were 13 cases showing EBER positivity, including 7 cases of NKTCL, 5 cases of DLBCL, and 1 case of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (PTLD). Most patients received chemotherapy alone, while some patients received both chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Seven patients had local recurrence, and fewer than half of the patients (n = 16) were alive at the time of the study (mean follow-up duration: 54.4 months). The five-year overall survival was 50.4%. NP lymphoma is very rare, and the most common pathologic type is DLBCL. EBER positivity is found in both NKTCL and DLBCL. Identifying more effective therapeutic agents is extremely important to improve patients’ survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1604
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • EBER
  • Lymphoma
  • Nasopharynx

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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