head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Researchers Identify Genetic Mutations Linked to Salivary Gland Tumors

Research conducted at the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) has discovered links between a set of genes known to promote tumor growth and mucoepidermoid carcinoma, an oral cancer that affects the salivary glands. The discovery could help physicians develop new treatments that...

head and neck cancer

Adding Induction Chemotherapy to Chemoradiotherapy Does Not Improve Survival in Patients With N2 or N3 Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cohen et al found that induction chemotherapy before chemoradiotherapy did not improve overall survival vs chemoradiotherapy alone in patients with N2 or N3 locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The study...

head and neck cancer

New Molecular Test Increases Odds of Correct Surgery for Thyroid Cancer Patients

The routine use of a molecular testing panel developed at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center greatly increases the likelihood of performing the correct initial surgery for patients with thyroid nodules and cancer, reported researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. The ...

head and neck cancer

Antipain Agent Shrinks Oral Cancers, Sparing Healthy Tissue

Mouse models of human oral cancer treated with an agent called capsazepine showed dramatic tumor shrinkage without damage to surrounding tissues, researchers from the School of Dentistry and School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found. The findings by...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Combined BRAF V600E and TERT Promoter Mutations Identify Aggressive and Recurrent Papillary Thyroid Cancer

In a study reported in Journal of Clinical Oncology, Xing et al found that the combined presence of BRAF V600E and TERT C228T mutations was associated with increased risk of recurrence and poor disease-free survival in patients with papillary thyroid cancer. The retrospective study included 365...

head and neck cancer

Meta-Analysis Indicates Better Outcomes With Charged-Particle Therapy vs Photon Therapy in Nasal Cavity and Paranasal Sinus Malignancies

Nasal cavity and paranasal sinus tumors are rare and comprise multiple histologic types, making comparative therapeutic trials difficult. In a systematic review and meta-analysis reported in The Lancet Oncology, Patel et al found that that charged-particle therapy appeared to be associated with...

head and neck cancer

Adjuvant Chemoradiation With Docetaxel Plus Cetuximab Shows Promise in High-Risk Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In the phase II Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG)-0234 trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Harari et al found that adjuvant chemoradiation with docetaxel or cisplatin plus cetuximab (Erbitux) in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck and high-risk...

head and neck cancer
gastroesophageal cancer

French Phase III Trial Shows No Benefit of Neoadjuvant Chemoradiation in Stage I and II Esophageal Cancer

The effect of neoadjuvant chemoradiation therapy in early-stage esophageal cancer is not clear. In the phase III FFCD 9901 trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Mariette et al found that neoadjuvant chemoradiation including fluorouracil (5-FU) and cisplatin did not improve R0...

head and neck cancer

HPV-Positive Disease Predicts Longer Overall Survival After Progression of Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer have reduced risk of progression compared with those with HPV-negative disease, but the effect of HPV status on overall survival after progression has not been clear. In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology,...

issues in oncology
head and neck cancer

EPIC Cohort Study: High Thyroglobulin and Low TSH Precede Differentiated Thyroid Cancer, but Neither Can Be Used in Screening

In a study of the association of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroglobulin, and thyroid hormones with risk of differentiated thyroid cancer reported in Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Rinaldi et al found that high thyroglobulin levels can precede thyroid cancer by many years and...

head and neck cancer

Stage Migration and Dilution of Higher Stages With PET in Head and Neck Cancer in a Managed Care Setting

A study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery by VanderWalde and colleagues suggests that increasing use of positron emission tomography (PET) for diagnosis and staging of head and neck cancer has resulted in considerable stage migration characterized by dilution of higher stages...

head and neck cancer

FDA Approves Radioactive Diagnostic Imaging Agent to Help Determine the Extent of Head and Neck Cancer in the Body

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved a new use for technetium 99m tilmanocept (Lymphoseek Injection), a radioactive diagnostic imaging agent used to help doctors determine the extent to which squamous cell carcinoma has spread in the body’s head and neck region. In 2013,...

head and neck cancer

ASCO 2014: Lower-Dose Radiation May Reduce Long-Term Side Effects Without Compromising Survival in Certain HPV-Positive Head and Neck Cancers

According to a phase II study, customizing radiation doses based on response to induction chemotherapy and other prognostic factors may allow lower doses of radiation therapy to be administered to some patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer without compromising...

head and neck cancer

ASCO 2014: Lenvatinib Yields High Response Rates, Delays Progression in Patients With Radioiodine-Resistant Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

A phase III, multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled study found that the oral targeted drug lenvatinib is highly effective among patients with differentiated thyroid cancer resistant to standard radioiodine therapy. “The main result is an extraordinary improvement in progression-free...

head and neck cancer

Physicians and Patients/Caregivers Frequently Disagree on Medicare Resource Allocations for Patients With Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery, Rocke et al compared hypothetical resource allocation by otolaryngology–head and neck surgery physicians and patients with that by advanced cancer patients or their caregivers. They found significant differences in...

head and neck cancer

No Apparent Increase in Risk of Oral HPV Infection in Sexual Partners of HPV-Positive Patients With Oropharyngeal Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, D’Souza et al found that while human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive patients with oropharyngeal cancer had high prevelances of oncogenic oral HPV DNA and oral HPV16 DNA, their sexual partners did not appear to have increased risk of...

head and neck cancer

Increased Incidence of Thyroid Cancer: An Epidemic of Diagnosis?

In a study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Davies and Gilbert found that the incidence of thyroid cancer has nearly tripled since 1975. However, the increase appears to represent an “epidemic of diagnosis” and to almost exclusively represent increased diagnosis...

head and neck cancer

Hyperfractionated Radiation Therapy Improves Local-Regional Control Without Increasing Late Toxicity in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

Patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck treated with hyperfractionated radiation therapy experienced improved local-regional control and, with patients censored at 5 years, improved overall survival with no increase in late toxicity, according to a study...

head and neck cancer

Black Patients With Salivary Gland Mucoepidermoid or Squamous Cell Carcinoma Have Poorer Disease-Specific Survival Than White Patients

In a retrospective study of salivary gland cancer survival reported in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Russell et al found black patients with mucoepidermoid or squamous cell carcinoma have poorer disease-specific survival than white patients, with no difference being observed between...

head and neck cancer

Differences in Lifestyle Habits and Poorer Adherence to Radiation Therapy in Patients With HPV-Negative vs HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Carcinoma

Different mechanisms of carcinogenesis and molecular characteristics have been proposed for human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive and HPV-negative oropharyngeal carcinomas, and better outcomes have been observed in patients with HPV-positive tumors. Some experts advocate classification of the two as...

head and neck cancer
solid tumors

No Difference in Disease-Free Survival but Less Steroid Dependence With Adrenal-Sparing Surgery vs Adrenalectomy in Pheochromocytoma

Molecular diagnosis and preventive surgery have been successful in preventing medullary thyroid cancer in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 syndrome. In a retrospective population-based study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Castinetti et al found no difference in disease-free...

head and neck cancer

Sorafenib Improves Progression-Free Survival in Progressive Radioactive Iodine–Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

Patients with radioactive iodine-refractory, locally advanced or metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer have a poor prognosis. In the double-blind phase III DECISION trial reported in The Lancet, Brose et al found that sorafenib (Nexavar) increased progression-free survival in this setting. The...

head and neck cancer
supportive care

Doxepin Rinse Reduces Radiotherapy-Associated Oral Mucositis Pain in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase III double-blind crossover trial (North Central Cancer Treatment Group [NCCTG] N09C6, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology cooperative group) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Leenstra et al found that oral doxepin hydrochloride rinse significantly reduced...

skin cancer
head and neck cancer
skin cancer

Total Parotidectomy May Benefit Patients With Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma or Malignant Melanoma With Metastasis to the Parotid Superficial Lobe

The optimal extent of surgical resection is unclear in patients with parotid superficial lobe lymph node metastasis from cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and malignant melanoma. In a single-institution retrospective review reported in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Thom et al found...

head and neck cancer

Study Examines Protein Expression Biomarkers in HPV-Negative Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Head and Neck

A quartet of proteins that play critical roles in cell replication, cell death, and DNA repair could lead to better targets for therapy against treatment-resistant head and neck squamous cell cancers. In a study presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual...

head and neck cancer

Prognosis of HPV-Positive Head and Neck Cancer Varies According to Tumor Site

Patients with cancer of the throat and who are positive for the human papillomavirus (HPV) have a good prognosis, but until now the effect of being HPV-positive on the prognosis of tumors located elsewhere in the head and neck was unknown. A new study presented at the 33rd Conference of the...

head and neck cancer

Long-Term Use of Valproic Acid May Reduce the Risk of Head and Neck Cancer

The antiseizure medication and mood stabilizer valproic acid was associated with a significant reduction in head and neck cancer risk, according to a study recently published in Cancer. The large retrospective cohort study by Kang et al was conducted to evaluate the effects of the drug, a histone...

skin cancer
head and neck cancer

Cutaneous Melanoma and Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma: Mutual Increased Risk

In a study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Oakley et al found that papillary thyroid cancer increases the risk of cutaneous malignant melanoma and vice versa. In addition, the investigators found that patients with both cancers have a high frequency of BRAF V600E mutation. ...

head and neck cancer

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy Reduces PEG Tube Dependence and Severe Skin and Mucous Membrane Toxicity in Oropharyngeal Cancer

In a single-center experience reported in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Lohia et al found that intensity-modulated radiation therapy for oropharyngeal cancer reduces percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube dependence and severe skin and mucous membrane toxicity compared with...

head and neck cancer

Oropharyngeal Cancer Patients Report Benefit in Salivary Function With Reduction of Radiation Dose to Bilateral Submandibular Lymph Nodes

For head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, a reduction in the amount of radiation treatment volume to the submandibular (level IB) lymph nodes resulted in better patient-reported salivary function, according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and...

head and neck cancer

Patients With Oropharyngeal Cancer Report Decreased Quality of Voice and Speech After Treatment

Patients with oropharyngeal cancer treated with combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy reported a decrease in their voice and speech quality for up to 1 year after the completion of treatment, according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium....

head and neck cancer

Unilateral Radiotherapy for Advanced Tonsil Cancer Yields Favorable Outcome

New research suggests that it is safe to limit radiation therapy to lymph nodes on only one side of the neck for lateralized tonsil cancer. In addition, the study findings show that primary tumor location, rather than the amount of lymph node involvement on the tumor side of the neck, drives the...

head and neck cancer

Avoiding Radiation to Major Salivary Glands in Head and Neck Cancer Is Safe and Improves Quality of Life

New research is showing that sparing the contralateral submandibular gland during radiation therapy in the treatment of locally advanced head and neck cancer is technically feasible and safe even in advanced-stage, node-positive disease and base-of-tongue lesions. Limiting radiation to these major...

head and neck cancer

Study Finds Combining a Novel Biomarker With HPV Status Predicts Patient Outcome in Head and Neck Cancer

Using next-generation sequencing and the clinical data of patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, researchers found that combining mutant-allele tumor heterogeneity as a biomarker with patients’ human papillomavirus (HPV) status provides a reliable predictor of patient survival....

head and neck cancer

Distant Metastases Occur Later and in More Subsites in Patients With HPV-Positive Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Oropharynx

Patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx had a longer time to development of distant metastasis after initial treatment, and had more metastatic sites in more atypical locations compared to HPV-negative patients, according to research presented...

head and neck cancer

HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer Associated With Higher Overall Survival Rate After Progression Than HPV-Negative Disease

A retrospective analysis of patients with oropharyngeal cancer with recurrence of disease after primary therapy in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) studies 0129 and 0522 found that human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive patients had a higher overall survival rate than HPV-negative patients, ...

head and neck cancer
supportive care

Daily Humidification of the Mouth and Throat During Radiation for Head and Neck Cancer Reduces Mucositis

New study findings show that patients with head and neck cancer receiving daily humidification of the mouth and throat during radiation therapy had reduced symptoms of muscositis and spent nearly 50% fewer days in the hospital to manage their treatment side effects. The study by Macann et al was...

head and neck cancer

Obesity Linked to Poor Survival in Patients With Tongue Cancer

Cancer experts from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Weill Cornell Medical College are collaborating to understand the link between obesity and cancer. Most recently, their research has yielded an interesting association: Obesity prior to diagnosis is associated with a fivefold increase...

head and neck cancer

Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy Improves Survival in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Patients with cancers of the head and neck who received intensity-modulated radiation therapy experienced improved outcomes, as well as reduced toxicities, compared to patients receiving conventional radiation therapy, according to findings published online in Cancer by Beadle et al. The study is...

head and neck cancer

Nonsignificant Survival Benefit With Postoperative Radiation Therapy for Head and Neck Cancer at Academic Center vs Other Institutions

In a study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, George et al evaluated radiation treatment characteristics and outcomes among head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients receiving adjuvant external-beam radiation therapy at an academic center vs other institutions....

head and neck cancer

Maintained Oral Intake and Swallowing Exercise Adherence During Radiation Therapy Improve Long-Term Swallowing Outcomes for Pharyngeal Cancer Patients

In a study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Hutcheson et al assessed the effects of maintained oral intake and adherence to swallowing exercises during radiation therapy or chemoradiation therapy for pharyngeal cancer. They found that both practices contributed independently ...

head and neck cancer

Postradiotherapy Neck Dissection Improves Local Control in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Patients With Advanced Nodal Disease

Available data indicate that lymph node involvement predicts failure at primary and distant sites after chemoradiation for head and neck cancer. In a study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Ranck et al assessed the impact of postradiotherapy neck dissection on local and...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Issues Final Recommendations on Screening for Oral Cancer

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) today released its final recommendation statement on screening for oral cancer in adults without signs or symptoms of oral cancer who are seen by primary care providers. This recommendation focuses on primary care professionals and is not a...

head and neck cancer

Thyroid Ultrasound Strategy Identifies Low-Risk Patients Who Can Defer Biopsy

In a study reported in JAMA Internal Medicine, Smith-Bindman et al evaluated the ability of ultrasound imaging characteristics to determine risk of thyroid cancer associated with thyroid nodules. They found that a strategy of using two abnormal nodule characteristics as an indication for biopsy...

head and neck cancer

Certain Symptom Clusters After Surgery for Esophageal Cancer Predict Poor Prognosis

A new study has found that several months after surgery for esophageal cancer, different symptoms cluster together in different types of patients. In addition, patients with certain symptom clusters have an increased risk of dying from their disease. The findings by Wikman et al were published...

head and neck cancer

FDA Approves Sorafenib to Treat Late-Stage Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today expanded the approved uses of sorafenib (Nexavar) to treat late-stage differentiated thyroid cancer. The new indication is for patients with locally recurrent or metastatic, progressive differentiated thyroid cancer that no longer responds to radioactive...

head and neck cancer

Increasing Proportion of Head and Neck Cancer Patients Treated at Teaching Hospitals

In a study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Neil Bhattacharyya, MD, of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, and Elliot Abemayor, MD, PhD, of David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, analyzed recent patterns of hospitalization for head and neck...

head and neck cancer

Smoking Increases Risk of Death for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Survivors

Survivors of nasopharyngeal carcinoma who are former or current smokers are more likely to have their disease progress, relapse, or spread, and are more likely to die of their disease, compared with survivors of nasopharyngeal carcinoma who have never smoked, according to a study published in...

head and neck cancer

Basaloid Squamous Cell Carcinoma Not Predictive of Worse Outcome vs Squamous Cell Carcinoma in Head and Neck Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, Okechukwu R. Linton, MD, MBA, of Indiana University School of Medicine, and colleagues assessed the prognostic significance of head and neck basaloid squamous cell carcinoma, which is considered a more aggressive form of squamous...

head and neck cancer

Increased Risk of Long-Term Cardiovascular Mortality and All-Cause Mortality in Patients With Differentiated Thyroid Carcinoma

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Esther N. Klein Hesselink, of University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated long-term cardiovascular mortality in patients with differentiated thyroid cancer. They found that risk of cardiovascular and...

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