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head and neck cancer

ESMO 2017: KEYNOTE-040 Evaluates Pembrolizumab in Head and Neck Cancer

Immunotherapy with the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) may be a better option than standard treatments for patients whose head and neck cancer has spread or recurred after an initial round of chemotherapy, according to results of the KEYNOTE-040 trial presented at the European Society ...

head and neck cancer

Pembrolizumab in PD-L1–Positive Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

As reported by Hsu et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) has shown activity in programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1)–positive recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma, in a cohort of the phase Ib KEYNOTE-028 trial. Study Details In the study, 27...

head and neck cancer

Robert I. Haddad, MD, on Head and Neck Cancer: Results of the CheckMate 141 Trial

Robert I. Haddad, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses phase III study results on treatment beyond disease progression with nivolumab in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (Abstract 1043O).

head and neck cancer

Cabozantinib Salvage Therapy in Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor–Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

A phase II study has shown that cabozantinib (Cometriq) produces responses in patients with tyrosine kinase inhibitor–refractory differentiated thyroid cancer. The findings were reported by Cabanillas et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. MET plays a role in vascular endothelial growth...

head and neck cancer

Medical Costs and HPV Vaccination in Oropharyngeal Cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers, including oropharyngeal, vulvar, cervical, vaginal, penile, anal, and rectal cancers, have increased in recent years, with oropharyngeal cancer the most common HPV-related cancer—from 2008 ...

head and neck cancer

Plasma Epstein-Barr Virus DNA Screening for Nasopharyngeal Cancer

In a Hong Kong study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Chan et al found that screening for circulating cell-free Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA is useful in detecting nasopharyngeal carcinoma in asymptomatic individuals. Study Details In the study, 20,174 participants underwent...

head and neck cancer

Radiotherapy Fractionation for Head and Neck Cancers

An update of the Meta-Analysis of Radiotherapy in Squamous Cell Carcinomas of Head and Neck (MARCH) showed that hyperfractionated radiotherapy maintained a survival advantage over conventional radiotherapy in head and neck cancers. The findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by Lacas et al. A ...

head and neck cancer

Outcome by Age With Lenvatinib in Radioiodine-Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Brose et al, a prespecified analysis of the phase III double-blind SELECT trial of lenvatinib (Lenvima) vs placebo in radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer showed progression-free survival benefits in both older and younger...

solid tumors
head and neck cancer

PD-L2 Expression and Clinical Response to Pembrolizumab in Head and Neck Cancer

A study assessing the prevalence and distribution of programmed cell death ligand 2 (PD-L2) in human tumor samples across seven cancer indications, including renal cell carcinoma, bladder, melanoma, non–small cell lung cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, gastric carcinoma, and head and...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, on HPV and the Value of the Vaccine

Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses her findings on the impact of prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccination on oral HPV infections among young adults in the United States. (Abstract 6003)

head and neck cancer

Complications From Thyroid Cancer Surgery More Common Than Once Thought

As thyroid cancer rates rise, more patients are having surgery to remove all or part of their thyroid. A new study by Papaleontiou et al in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests complications from these procedures are more common than previously believed. Overall, 6.5% of ...

head and neck cancer

USPSTF Recommendation on Screening for Thyroid Cancer

As reported in JAMA, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended against thyroid cancer screening in asymptomatic individuals. The current USPSTF statement is an update of a 1996 USPSTF recommendation statement. The recommendation was based on task force review of evidence on...

head and neck cancer

PD-L1 Expression and Radiation Resistance in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

According to a study by Skinner et al, the primary cause of death in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is local treatment failure. Although human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is sensitive to radiation, HPV-negative tumors are...

head and neck cancer

European Commission Approves Nivolumab for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Progressing on or After Platinum-Based Therapy

On April 28, the European Commission approved nivolumab (Opdivo) as monotherapy for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) in adults with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy. Nivolumab is the first and only immuno-oncology treatment that has...

head and neck cancer

Reduced-Dose Radiotherapy for HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Carcinoma

A phase II trial conducted at the University of California at Davis and at Los Angeles showed good outcomes with reduced-dose radiotherapy in patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. These findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by Chen et al....

head and neck cancer

Higher Rates of Bone Metastases and Increased Risk of Death in Follicular and Medullary Thyroid Cancer

In the largest-known study on bone metastases in thyroid cancer, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that patients with follicular and medullary thyroid cancer had the highest rate of cancer-related bone lesions and fractures and an increased risk of death....

head and neck cancer

New ASTRO Guideline Establishes Standard of Care for Curative Treatment of Oropharyngeal Cancer With Radiation Therapy

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has issued a new clinical guideline for the management of oropharyngeal cancer. The guideline, “Radiation therapy for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: An ASTRO Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline,” was published by Sher et ...

head and neck cancer

Trends in Thyroid Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the United States

In a study of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-9 (SEER-9) data reported in JAMA, Lim et al found that both thyroid cancer incidence and mortality have increased over recent decades, reflecting increases in papillary thyroid cancer incidence and mortality. These findings suggest that the...

head and neck cancer

Pembrolizumab in Platinum- and Cetuximab-Refractory Head and Neck Cancer

In the phase II KEYNOTE-055 trial, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was found to produce durable responses in patients with platinum- and cetuximab (Erbitux)-refractory head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Results of the trial were reported by Bauml et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology....

head and neck cancer

David G. Pfister, MD, on HPV and Head and Neck Cancer

David G. Pfister, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the link between human papillomavirus and oropharyngeal cancers and what is known about the effect of HPV on treatment response and outcome.

head and neck cancer

Delays in Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer in Insured and Indigent Populations

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Thomas et al found that interruption of radiotherapy for head and neck cancer was more frequent and treatment outcomes were poorer among indigent populations vs commercially or Medicare-insured populations within a single academic health...

head and neck cancer

ASCO Endorses ACS Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Care Guideline

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Larissa Nekhlyudov, MD, MPH, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, ASCO has endorsed the 2016 American Cancer Society (ACS) guideline on head and neck cancer survivorship care. The endorsement was based on ...

head and neck cancer

Effect of Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy in Resected Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In a study of National Cancer Database data reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Trifiletti et al found that adjuvant chemoradiotherapy was associated with a survival benefit in patients with resected locally advanced head and neck cancer with negative surgical margins and no extracapsular ...

head and neck cancer
lymphoma
gastrointestinal cancer

Protein Component of the Epstein-Barr Virus May Promote the Development of Cancer

After an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the virus persists in the body throughout a person's lifetime, usually without causing any symptoms. About one-third of infected teenagers and young adults nevertheless develop infectious mononucleosis, which usually wears off after a few weeks. ...

head and neck cancer

Clinical Trial Explores Ability of Genetic Test to Guide Surgical Management of Thyroid Cancer

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists and doctors are embarking on the first clinical trial to determine if a genetic test they pioneered could successfully spare patients with nonaggressive thyroid cancer from complete removal of their thyroid. Thyroid-preserving surgery minimizes ...

head and neck cancer

Adding Buparlisib to Paclitaxel in Platinum-Pretreated Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In the phase II BERIL-1 trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Soulières et al found that adding the pan-PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) inhibitor buparlisib to paclitaxel improved outcomes in patients with platinum-pretreated recurrent metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and ...

head and neck cancer

ECCO 2017: Twice-Daily Radiation Therapy May Reduce Mortality in Head and Neck Cancer

Treating patients with head and neck cancer with hyperfractionated twice-daily radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy could potentially reduce mortality, according to new research presented by Petit et al at the 2017 European Cancer Congress (ECCO) (Abstract 823). The study, led by Claire...

head and neck cancer

Survivorship Symposium 2017: Younger Survivors of Thyroid Cancer Face Increased Risk of Hypertension, Heart Disease, and Osteoporosis

According to the American Cancer Society, in the United States, thyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing cancer, tripling in the past 3 decades, and is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. A study by Blackburn et al examining whether survivors of thyroid cancer...

head and neck cancer

Similar Survival With Surgery and Chemoradiotherapy in HPV-Negative Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Cancer

In an observational study reported in JAMA Oncology, Kelly et al found that overall survival was similar with upfront surgery and definitive chemoradiotherapy among patients with newly diagnosed cT1–2 N1–2b human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma....

head and neck cancer
gastroesophageal cancer

TCGA Study of Esophageal Cancers Finds Features That Aid in Their Classification

A new integrated genomic study by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network identified genetic alterations that distinguish the two most common subtypes of esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is a rare cancer in the United States, but the 8th most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide. It...

breast cancer
head and neck cancer
lung cancer

Receptor Tyrosine Kinase AXL May Mediate Nuclear Translocation of EGFR

New research from the University of Wisconsin (UW) Carbone Cancer Center has clarified the mechanisms involved in a common growth pathway implicated in many solid tumor types and could lead to better outcomes for patients with head and neck, lung, and triple-negative breast cancer,...

head and neck cancer

ESMO Asia 2016: Asian Patients With Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Live Longer With Immunotherapy Than Overall Population

Asian patients with head and neck cancer live longer with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) immunotherapy than the overall population, according to a subanalysis of the KEYNOTE-012 trial presented at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore. “Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is the seventh most...

head and neck cancer

Addition of Adjuvant Chemotherapy to Chemoradiotherapy Achieves Best Survival Results in Locally Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In an individual patient-data meta-analysis reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ribassin-Majed et al in the Meta-analysis of Chemotherapy in Nasopharyngeal Collaborative Group found that the addition of adjuvant chemotherapy to chemoradiotherapy was associated with the greatest overall...

head and neck cancer

SITC 2016: Interim Phase I/II Data Show Encouraging Clinical Benefit for Lirilumab in Combination With Nivolumab in Head and Neck Cancer

An interim efficacy analysis from a phase I/II study of the combination of lirilumab and nivolumab (Opdivo) in the cohort of advanced platinum refractory squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, including exploratory biomarker analyses of patient response by level of programmed death ligand 1...

head and neck cancer

FDA Approves Nivolumab for the Treatment of Recurrent/Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

On November 10, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with disease progression on or after a platinum-based therapy. Approval was based on data from an...

head and neck cancer

New Data Suggest Changes Needed to Guidelines for Determining Prognosis in Patients With Thyroid Cancer

A study from the Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) has found a lack of statistical evidence to support the current practice of treating thyroid cancer patients under age 45 differently from those 45 and older. The study, published recently by Adam et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology,...

head and neck cancer

Study Finds Nivolumab Improves Survival vs Standard Therapy in Recurrent Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In the phase III CheckMate 141 trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Ferris et al found that nivolumab (Opdivo) increased overall survival vs standard therapies in patients with recurrent platinum-refractory squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Study Details In this...

head and neck cancer

ESMO 2016: Meta-analysis Confirms Superiority of Concomitant Over Induction Chemotherapy in Nonmetastatic Head and Neck Cancer

Patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma achieved prolonged overall survival when concomitant chemotherapy was administered with locoregional treatment or radiotherapy, according to findings from a large meta-analysis reported by Blanchard et al at the European Society for Medical...

head and neck cancer

ESMO 2016: Nivolumab Maintains Function and Reduces Symptoms in Relapsed Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer

Nivolumab (Opdivo) maintains function and reduces symptoms in treatment of relapsed metastatic head and neck cancer, according to results from the CheckMate 141 trial presented by Harrington et al at the 2016 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark (Abstract...

head and neck cancer

Characteristics of HPV-Driven Nonoropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Head and Neck

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Chakravarthy et al found that human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven tumors accounted for 4.1% of nonoropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. HPV-positive tumors were associated with poorer survival and reduced...

head and neck cancer

Ezra E.W. Cohen, MD, on Head and Neck Cancer: Results of the ACTIVE8 Trial

Ezra E.W. Cohen, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, discusses study findings on chemotherapy plus cetuximab in combination with motolimod immunotherapy in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. (Abstract LBA37)

head and neck cancer

Improved Failure-Free Survival Reported With Addition of Induction Chemotherapy to Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In a Chinese phase III trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Sun et al found that adding induction treatment with cisplatin, fluorouracil (5-FU), and docetaxel (TPF) to concurrent chemoradiotherapy improved failure-free survival in locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Study Details...

head and neck cancer

Particular HPV Strain Linked to Improved Prognosis for Oropharyngeal Cancer

When it comes to cancer-causing viruses like human papillomavirus (HPV), researchers are continuing to find that infection with one strain may be better than another. In an analysis of survival data for patients with oropharyngeal cancer, researchers from the University of North Carolina (UNC)...

head and neck cancer

Is Pembrolizumab Active Against Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma?

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Chow et al, a fixed-dose reduced-frequency pembrolizumab (Keytruda) regimen produced durable responses in the phase IB KEYNOTE-012 expansion cohort of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. The response rate...

head and neck cancer

Joanne B. Weidhaas, MD, PhD, on Head and Neck Cancer: Results of the NRG Oncology/RTOG 0522 Study

Joanne B. Weidhaas, MD, PhD, of the University of California, Los Angeles Radiation Oncology, discusses the KRAS variant as a biomarker of cetuximab response and altered immunity in head and neck cancer. (Abstract LBA-11)

head and neck cancer

Takeshi Kodaira, MD, PhD, on Glottic Cancer: Results of a Japan Clinical Oncology Group Study

Takeshi Kodaira, MD, PhD, of Aichi Cancer Center Hospital, discusses the final analysis of a randomized phase III trial of accelerated vs conventional fractionation radiotherapy for glottic cancer of T1-2N0M0. (Abstract LBA-8)

head and neck cancer

Addition of CHK1 Inhibitor Radiosensitizes Head and Neck Cancers to Paclitaxel-Based Chemoradiotherapy

Combining a new targeted drug that blocks one of cancer’s escape routes could boost the effectiveness of combined chemoradiotherapy for head and neck cancers and stop cells becoming resistant to treatment. Researchers at The Institute of Cancer Research, London (ICR), and The Royal Marsden...

head and neck cancer

Autopsy Data Suggest No Increase in Differentiated Thyroid Cancer Over Past Few Decades

The prevalence of incidental differentiated thyroid cancer has remained fairly stable since the 1970s, according to a meta-analysis of autopsy data reported by Furuya-Kanamori et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. This finding does not support the reports of manyfold increases in...

head and neck cancer

Study Finds Gemcitabine/Cisplatin Improved Outcome vs Fluorouracil/Cisplatin in Recurrent or Metastatic Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In a Chinese phase III trial reported in The Lancet, Zhang et al found that gemcitabine/cisplatin improved progression-free survival vs fluorouracil/cisplatin in patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Study Details In the open-label trial, 362 patients from 22 sites in...

head and neck cancer

Study Finds More Nodes Should Be Examined to Rule Out Node-Negative Disease in Papillary Thyroid Cancer

The proportion of patients with papillary thyroid cancer identified as having node-negative disease decreased substantially with an increased number of lymph nodes examined, according to an analysis of data from the National Cancer Database. Robinson and colleagues, of Duke University, reported...

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