Open Access Research article

Primary Nasopharyngeal non-Hodgkin lymphomas: a retrospective review of 26 Moroccan patients

Wafa Allam1*, Nabil Ismaili1, Sanaa Elmajjaoui2, Bel K Elgueddari2, Mohammed Ismaili3 and Hassan Errihani1

Author affiliations

1 Medical Oncology Unit, National Institute of Oncology, University Center, Avenue Allal Alfassi, Alirfane Rabat, Morocco

2 Department of Radiotherapy, National Institute of Oncology, University Center, Avenue Allal Alfassi, Alirfane Rabat, Morocco

3 Department of Microbiology, Moulay Ismail University, Meknes, Morocco

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Citation and License

BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders 2009, 9:11  doi:10.1186/1472-6815-9-11

Published: 17 November 2009



Nasopharyngeal non-Hodgkin lymphomas (NNHL) are extremely rare. In this study, we will report the progress achieved in the management of this disease in our institute.


We retrospectively reviewed the records of 26 patients having primary NNHL who were managed between January 1997 and December 2008, to evaluate and compare their clinical characteristics and treatment outcome. Clinical variables, including age, sex, stage, and treatment modality, were assessed. Disease free survival and overall survival were measured. Survival curves were constructed using the KaplanMeier method. The log-rank test was used to compare them.


Median age of our patients was 52.7 years. Nasal obstruction, nasal discharge and epistaxis were the frequent symptoms in NNHL patients. Histology of NNHL were mainly large B-cell and follicular lymphoma. Four patients (15.4%) were at stage I, 15 (57.6%) at stage II, and 7 (27%) were at stage III/IV. The patients were treated with chemotherapy alone (27%) or chemotherapy plus radiotherapy (73%). At early stage (stage I/II), the patients were managed with chemo-radiotherapy. When the whole treatment was completed, 18 patients (69.2%) achieved complete response and remained disease free. After 25.9 months median follow-up, overall survival at 1 year was 87% and disease free survival at 1 year was 71%. The difference in term of overall and disease free survival between stage I, II, III and IV was significant (Log rank test: p = 0.02 for overall survival and p = 0.01 for disease free survival).


From our study, we conclude that histological characteristics, principle of treatment and outcome of primary NNHL patients are particular and more studies have to be directed.