It is with immense pleasure that we launch the inaugural issue of Annals of Nasopharynx Cancer—a journal dedicated to the sharing of clinical and translational scientific research in nasopharynx cancer.
Nasopharynx cancer is unique; and particularly relevant to the clinical and scientific community in this part of the world. Age-standardised rates of this disease in Southern and Eastern parts of Asia exceed 15 per 100,000 person years, which are at least 15-fold greater than populations from the rest of the world. The endemic form is also invariably associated with Epstein-barr virus (EBV), although the molecular processes driving subsequent tumorigenesis remain elusive. Over the years, such observations have driven the bases for several population genetics and risk-exposure studies.
Beyond tumorigenesis, it is likely that the association with EBV accounts for the natural clinical history and favourable biology of nasopharynx cancer. Likewise to human papilloma virus (HPV)-associated cancer of the oropharynx, EBV-associated nasopharynx cancer is exquisitely sensitive to radiotherapy, even at the advanced stages. As a result, systemic metastases constitute the predominant pattern of failure. Therefore, several clinical trials in recent years have focused on investigating the efficacies of different systemic therapy combinations, with much success.
Perhaps the most exciting of all relates to the new insights we have gained into the mutational landscape of this unique disease. As the academic community transitions into the era of precision oncology, there is a pressing need to promote and foster collaborative efforts for sharing of tissue and anonymised clinical registries to facilitate large-scale, clinically meaningful “big-data”-type analyses. This sort of synergy between different facets of research is desperately needed in driving the next major advance in knowledge and treatment of patients with nasopharynx cancer.
It is therefore the ambition of this journal to provide a platform promoting all facets of research relating to nasopharynx cancer. On this note, all submissions relating to clinical and translational science will be considered. To add, the journal intends to introduce a mechanism to foster discussions between authors and readers, with the ultimate goal of creating an open network for rapid sharing and amalgamation of research ideas. Despite being a newly-minted journal, a brazen vision is necessary. We welcome the community to join us on this journey to make this project a successful one!
Cite this article as: Chua ML. Annals of Nasopharynx Cancer—message from the Editor-in-Chief. Ann Nasopharynx Cancer 2017;1:1.