Know Cancer

forgot password

Positron Emission Tomography Scanning and Epstein-Barr Virus DNA Levels in the Staging and Follow-Up of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma.

Phase 2
Open (Enrolling)
Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Thank you

Trial Information

Positron Emission Tomography Scanning and Epstein-Barr Virus DNA Levels in the Staging and Follow-Up of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma.

1. Patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma are staged according to the 2002 American Joint
Committee on Cancer (AJCC) criteria. MRI is the imaging modality of choice for staging
and follow-up of nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The goal is to conduct a pilot study to
compare the staging findings on MRI with those on PET scanning in both pre- and
post-therapy patients. The end point is to document the degree of concordance between
the two modalities with respect to the anatomic location and volume of disease at the
time of initial staging and on follow up and to determine how any differences observed
may alter staging and management including radiation planning. We hypothesize that PET
scanning will be able to detect recurrence and residual disease within the radiated
tissue earlier than MRI.

2. Nasopharyngeal carcinoma is associated with elevated titers of Epstein Barr virus (EBV)
cell free, plasma DNA. Fluctuation i.e. - elevation in EBV DNA levels following therapy
may serve as a potential marker for recurrent or residual disease. We believe that a
change in EBV DNA titer precedes changes on conventional MRI and possibly PET scans in
patients with recurrent disease. We also predict, that due to its sensitivity, that EBV
titer levels will be more sensitive in the evaluation of tumor response to therapy, as
well predicting tumor recurrence. The second goal is to conduct a trial to compare the
sensitivity of MRI, PET and EBV titers in the assessment of recurrent disease.

Inclusion Criteria:

- 1. Patients with histologically diagnosed nasopharyngeal carcinoma presenting to the
University Health Network for which a course of curative radiation therapy +/-
chemotherapy is planned.

2. Patient is able to provide informed consent and is willing to adhere to the study

Exclusion Criteria:

- 1. Patients with metastatic disease. 2. Lactating or pregnant females. 3. Medical or
psychological conditions such as claustrophobia, etc., that in the opinion of the
referring MD or study investigator, would make the patient unable to tolerate the study

4. Presence of a second malignancy or a history of another malignancy active within the
last 5 years, with the exception of non-head and neck, non-melanomatous cutaneous

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Observational Model: Defined Population, Observational Model: Natural History, Time Perspective: Longitudinal, Time Perspective: Prospective

Principal Investigator

Eugene Yu, MD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

University Health Network, University of Toronto


Canada: Health Canada

Study ID:




Start Date:

March 2005

Completion Date:

June 2007

Related Keywords:

  • Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • PET scan
  • MRI
  • EBV virus
  • Carcinoma
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms