Histopathological Diagnosis of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: Looking beyond the Blue Book

  • John Nicholls
  • Gerald Niedobitek
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB)


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a malignant tumour of the nasopharynx that has a strong geographical distribution, with a high incidence in Southern China. It is a tumour that has had many classification schemes proposed since the early 20th century. The latest classification proposed by the World Health Organization has two main types of tumour—nonkeratinizing carcinoma and keratinizing squamous cell carcinoma. In actual practice, however, histological gradations between these two types can be present and the prognostic significance of such subdivision remains unclear. As there has been an increasing trend of monitoring NPC by Epstein-Barr viral (EBV) load it is possible that future classifications may be based on whether the tumour is associated with EBV or not, rather than histological appearances.


Squamous Cell Carcinoma Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Transitional Cell Carcinoma Undifferentiated Carcinoma Squamous Differentiation 
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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Nicholls
    • 1
  • Gerald Niedobitek
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PathologyThe University of Hong KongPok Fu Lam, Hong Kong SARChina
  2. 2.Institute of PathologyEmergency Hospital Berlin (UKB)BerlinGermany

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