Conference 2021 Pre-Recorded Video


Project title

Epidemiological and clinical study of nasopharyngeal cancer in Northern Morocco


Authors and Affiliations

Ayman Reffai1, Mohamed Mesmoudi1,2, Touria Derkaoui1, Naima Nourouti Ghailani1, Amina Barakat1, Nabila Sellal2, Mohcine Bennani Mechita1

1. Biomedical Genomics and Oncogenetics Research Laboratory, Biology Department, Faculty of Sciences and Techniques of Tangier (FSTT), Abdelmalek Essaadi University (UAE), Tangier, Morocco.
2. Regional Center of Oncology “Ahmed Ben Zayed Al Nahyan center of cancer treatment”, Tangier, Morocco.




Nasopharyngeal cancer is a complex disease distinguished from other cancers of the head and neck by its geographic distribution mainly affecting the Asian and North African population and its risk factors including Epstein Barr virus. In Morocco, the incidence and prevalence of this type of cancer is high. However, very few studies have been done in this regard. The aim of this study was to determine the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of nasopharyngeal cancer in Northern Morocco.


In this study, 129 patients diagnosed with nasopharyngeal cancer and followed at the regional center of oncology of Tangier between 2017 and 2019 were included. Epidemiological and clinical data was collected using technical sheets and analyzed using statistical tools of SPSS software. The survival analysis was performed using the Kaplan Meier method.


Nasopharyngeal cancer represented 5% of all cases of cancer with a median age of 50 and a remarkable sex disparity counting 65.9% of men (sex ratio= 1.93 M/F). Cervical mass caused by lymphadenopathy was the most frequent symptom in our cohort. 96.12% of patients had undifferentiated nasopharyngeal carcinomas (UCNT) which is the most common histological type of this type of cancer. The majority of patients (82.2%) had an advanced stage of nasopharyngeal cancer at diagnosis including 5.4% of metastatic cases. Regarding therapy, 81.4% of patients received radiotherapy combined with chemotherapy preceded in 54.3% of cases by induction chemotherapy. The overall survival (OS) at 5 years was 86.8% for all patients. This latter was significantly influenced by disease staging.


These findings show that nasopharyngeal cancer is very common in Northern Morocco as is the case in other endemic areas with a late declaration problem. These results converge with the literature data and show the necessity of further studies regarding this type of cancer for better understanding and a better diagnosis.