About this Research Topic
Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is one of the most common head and neck malignancies in Southeast Asia and North Africa. Radiology has played an important role in the diagnosis, staging, therapeutic evaluation and follow-up for NPC, especially magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which has allowed for more precise staging and contouring of the gross tumor target region. In the past decade, the development of radiology and radiotherapy techniques, as well as the application of chemotherapy, have made great contribution to survival improvement for NPC patients. Recently, several imaging biomarkers have been proposed as prognostic indicators in the overall survival, and management of chemotherapy using radiomics or deep learning methods. Additionally, as an Epstein Barr virus (EBV) driven malignancy with a dense infiltration of lymphocytes in tumor stroma, immunotherapy might be an attractive strategy for NPC. However, challenges do exist in the application of radiology and immunotherapy for treatment decision in NPC.
Nowadays, there are still dilemmas and issues to be addressed, such as the identification of early stage NPC from untypical adenoid hyperplasia, how to differentiate tumor recurrence from radiotherapy-related fibrosis or osteomyelitis during the follow-up for NPC, the clinical significance and feasibility of imaging markers in prognosis prediction, as well as in screening patients at high risk for intensive treatment. Quantitative technique or functional imaging in the field of MRI and radiomics, might provide more information of the lesion thus assisting in decision making during clinical practice, such as chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy management or recurrence identification, etc. Additionally, there is a scarcity of potent immunotherapeutic agents for NPC, which is a major solution for refractory NPC, especially metastatic NPC. Therefore, a broader set of biomarkers is warranted in the development of immune-oncology strategy for NPC, including correlative biomarkers of EBV and host’s immune system, such as mutation of HLA-locus. Herein, our research topic focuses on exploring advances in imaging and immune-oncology strategies for NPC, aiming to determine individual’s treatment strategy for clinical setting. Original research and Reviews in regard to this topic are welcomed related, but not limited, to the following:
· Advances of quantitative technique in radiology or functional imaging in diagnosis, staging or prognosis prediction for NPC
· Leading discovery in diagnosis, automatic segmentation or prognosis prediction for NPC using artificial intelligence method based on imaging or integrated comprehensive data
· Fundamental or preclinical research in immune-oncology of NPC
· Clinical trials, retrospective studies or meta-analysis in regard to the immunotherapy management for NPC
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