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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...

head and neck cancer

Increased Uveal Melanoma Risk Linked to Pigmentation Genes That Dictate Eye Color

New research links specific inherited genetic alterations to an increased risk for uveal melanoma, a rare form of melanoma that arises from pigment cells that determine eye color. These findings were published by Ferguson et al in Scientific Reports. Previous clinical data suggests uveal melanoma...

head and neck cancer

FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma After Platinum-Containing Chemotherapy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved pembrolizumab (Keytruda), an anti­–PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) therapy, at a fixed dose of 200 mg every 3 weeks, for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with...

solid tumors
head and neck cancer

Genetic Characteristics of Recurrent and Metastatic Head and Neck Cancers

Next-generation sequencing of recurrent or metastatic head and neck tumors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) has provided insight into the molecular characteristics of these tumors, which may aid in the implementation of precision treatment. Morris et al reported these findings in...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

New Study Finds Increase in Imaging After Thyroid Cancer Treatment Identifies Recurrence but May Not Improve Survival

More imaging after thyroid cancer treatment identifies recurrence, but it does not always improve survival, a new study published by Banerjee et al in The BMJ suggests. Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center looked at 28,220 patients diagnosed with...

solid tumors
head and neck cancer

Study Finds Pembrolizumab Active in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

As reported by Seiwert et al in The Lancet Oncology, the monoclonal antibody pembrolizumab (Keytruda) showed activity in patients with programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1)–positive recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck in the phase Ib KEYNOTE-012 study. Study ...

head and neck cancer

ASCO 2016: Pembrolizumab Shows Significant Clinical Response in Recurrent/Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Treating head and neck cancer patients with recurrent or metastatic disease with the programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) achieved significant clinical responses in nearly one-fifth of the patients from a phase II clinical trial, researchers from Dana-Farber...

head and neck cancer

ASCO 2016: Nivolumab Immunotherapy Improves Survival, Quality of Life in Metastatic or Recurrent Head and Neck Cancer

Treatment with nivolumab (Opdivo) doubled overall survival and improved quality of life, with fewer side effects, in a treatment-resistant and rapidly progressing form of head and neck carcinoma, reported a large, randomized international trial co-led by investigators at the University of...

head and neck cancer

FDA Grants Selumetinib Orphan Drug Designation for Adjuvant Treatment of Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

AstraZeneca announced on May 12 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Orphan Drug designation for the investigational MEK 1/2 inhibitor selumetinib (AZD6244, ARRY-142886) for adjuvant treatment of patients with stage III or IV differentiated thyroid cancer. Differentiated...

head and neck cancer

Spectrin Gene Identified as a Biomarker in HPV-Negative Oral Cavity Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Researchers have identified a gene that may help to predict survival outcomes in patients with cancer of the mouth and tongue. Patients whose tumors express a gene called spectrin are 4.6 times more likely to die at any given time, according to a study by researchers at Loyola Medicine and Loyola...

head and neck cancer

FDA Grants Breakthrough Designation to Nivolumab in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

On April 25, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted breakthrough therapy designation to the anti–programmed death 1 antibody nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that previously received...

head and neck cancer

AACR 2016: Nivolumab Improved Survival for Patients With Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

For the latest information on CheckMate-141, click here, here, or here. Treatment with the immunotherapeutic nivolumab (Opdivo) improved survival for patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma that progressed after platinum-based chemotherapy compared with...

head and neck cancer
lung cancer
sarcoma
gastrointestinal cancer

AACR 2016: LOXO-101 Shows Continued Promise in Patients Whose Tumors Had NTRK Gene Fusions

The investigational drug LOXO-101, which selectively targets a family of proteins called neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptors (NTRKs), produced significant tumor regression in patients whose tumors had NTRK gene fusions, according to data from a phase I clinical trial presented by Hong et al at...

gynecologic cancer
head and neck cancer
lung cancer
skin cancer

AACR 2016: RAF-Targeted Therapeutic BGB-283 Shows Early Promise Against Tumors With BRAF and RAS Mutations

The new investigational anticancer therapeutic BGB-283, which targets the RAF family of proteins, was safe, tolerable, and showed signs of clinical activity in patients who had a range of types of cancer with mutations in BRAF, KRAS, and NRAS, according to results from a phase I clinical trial...

head and neck cancer

FDA Accepts Supplemental Biologics License Application for Pembrolizumab in Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer, Grants Priority Review

Merck today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review the supplemental Biologics License Application (sBLA) for pembrolizumab (Keytruda), a monoclonal antibody and anti–programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) therapy, for the treatment of...

head and neck cancer

UK Trial Shows Similar Survival With PET-CT Surveillance vs Planned Neck Dissection in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In a UK noninferiority trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Mehanna et al found that positron-emission tomography–computed tomography (PET-CT) surveillance was associated with similar survival vs planned neck dissection in patients with stage N2 or N3 squamous cell carcinoma ...

head and neck cancer
survivorship

New American Cancer Society Guideline Addresses Long-Term Needs of Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

A new American Cancer Society guideline provides clinicians with recommendations on key areas of clinical follow-up care for survivors of head and neck cancer, a growing population numbering approximately 436,060 and accounting for 3% of all cancer survivors living in the United States. The...

head and neck cancer

Retrospective Analysis Suggests Benefit of Adding Cetuximab to Radiotherapy Irrespective of p16 Status in Oropharyngeal Carcinoma

A retrospective analysis of the phase III registration trial IMCL-9815 of cetuximab (Erbitux) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Rosenthal et al suggests that the addition of cetuximab to radiotherapy was of benefit irrespective of p16 expression in patients with locoregionally...

head and neck cancer
gastroesophageal cancer

Researchers Find Possible Association Between Oral Bacteria and Esophageal Cancer

University of Louisville School of Dentistry researchers have found that a bacterial species responsible for gum disease, Porphyromonas gingivalis, is present in 61% of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. The findings, published by Gao et al in Infectious Agents and Cancer, only...

head and neck cancer

Loss of Skeletal Muscle Before or After Radiotherapy Linked to Poorer Survival in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In a single-center retrospective study reported in JAMA Oncology, Grossberg et al found that skeletal muscle loss before or after radiotherapy was associated with poorer overall survival in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Study Details The study included 2,840 patients...

head and neck cancer

New Staging System for Human Papillomavirus–Related Oropharyngeal Cancer

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by O’Sullivan et al, a new staging system for human papillomavirus–related oropharyngeal cancer has been developed based on findings from the International Collaboration on Oropharyngeal Cancer Network for Staging (ICON-S) study. Study Details The...

head and neck cancer

2016 Head and Neck Cancer Symposium: Induction Chemotherapy Does Not Predict Survival Advantage Over Concurrent Chemoradiation

Head and neck cancer patients who receive induction chemotherapy rather than the standard treatment of concurrent chemoradiation do not benefit from increased survival rates and are less likely to receive a full course of radiation, according to research presented by Stokes et al at the 2016...

issues in oncology
gynecologic cancers
head and neck cancer

100% of NCI-Designated Cancer Centers Endorse the Promotion of the HPV Vaccination for Cancer Prevention

All National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers have united to support human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination (see below). A team of HPV experts drafted a consensus statement that advises widespread use of HPV vaccines to prevent cancer. HPV causes cancer of the cervix, anus, and...

head and neck cancer

2016 Head and Neck Cancer Symposium: Chemoradiation May Increase Survival for a Subset of Elderly Head and Neck Cancer Patients

The addition of chemotherapy to radiation therapy improves survival rates among a subset of elderly head and neck cancer patients, specifically those aged 71 to 79 with low comorbidity scores and advanced disease stage, according to research presented by Amini et al at the 2016 Multidisciplinary...

head and neck cancer

2016 Head and Neck Cancer Symposium: Most Recurrences of HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer Can Be Found Within 6 Months

For patients treated with definitive radiation therapy for oropharyngeal cancer caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), the majority of recurrences can be detected by post-treatment imaging at 3 months and physical exams during the 6 months following treatment, according to research presented by...

head and neck cancer

2016 Head and Neck Cancer Symposium: Uninsured and Medicaid Patients More Likely to Present With Advanced Tumors, Experience Cancer-Specific Mortality

Compared to patients with non-Medicaid insurance, uninsured patients and patients with Medicaid are more likely to present with advanced stages of head and neck cancer and have higher overall and cancer-specific mortality rates, according to research presented by Churilla et al at the 2016...

head and neck cancer
cost of care

2016 Head and Neck Cancer Symposium: Cost-Coping Strategies and Perceived Social Isolation in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

The majority of patients with locally advanced head and neck cancers rely on cost-coping strategies that alter their lifestyle in order to manage the financial burden of their care, according to research presented by Kung et al at the 2016 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium (Abstract...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

2016 Head and Neck Cancer Symposium: Study Maps Distinct Molecular Signatures of HPV-Positive Throat Cancer by Smoking Status

Patients with throat cancer exposed to both human papillomavirus (HPV) and tobacco smoke demonstrate a pattern of mutations along several key cancer genes, according to research presented by Zevallos et al at the 2016 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium (Abstract 1). These distinct...

issues in oncology
head and neck cancer

Possible Marker for Recurring HPV-Linked Oropharyngeal Cancers

A retrospective analysis of human papillomavirus (HPV) antibodies in patients treated for oropharyngeal cancers linked to HPV infection suggests at least one of the antibodies could be useful in identifying those at risk for a recurrence of the cancer, said scientists at The Johns Hopkins...

head and neck cancer

No Benefit of Adding Adjuvant and Maintenance Lapatinib to Chemoradiation in High-Risk Patients With Resected Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In a phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Harrington et al found that the addition of concurrent adjuvant lapatinib (Tykerb) to chemoradiation therapy and the use of maintenance lapatinib did not improve disease-free or overall survival in high-risk patients with resected...

head and neck cancer

Anil D'Cruz, MD, on Elective Neck Dissection in Node-Negative Early Oral Cancer

Anil D’Cruz, MD, of Tata Memorial Hospital, discusses results from his study that seem to resolve a 50-year-long debate on performing elective neck dissection at the time of primary surgery––a potentially practice-changing finding (Abstract LBA3).

head and neck cancer
prostate cancer

Bruce Minsky, MD, on Clinical Trial Results: The ASCENDE-RT Trial and a Multicenter Study on Prostate Cancer

Bruce Minsky, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses two important papers: results from a prospective trial on quality-of-life outcomes for low-risk HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, and a prostate cancer radiation therapy study (Abstracts 3, 4).

skin cancer
head and neck cancer
breast cancer

Catherine C. Park, MD, on Novel Clinical Paradigms

Catherine C. Park, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, summarizes results from three clinical trials of radiation therapy for various cancers: metastatic melanoma, oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, and breast cancer (Abstracts 215, 3, and LBA7).

head and neck cancer
symptom management

Bridgett Harr, CNP, on Reducing ER Visits and Admissions in High-Risk Head and Neck Cancer Patients

Bridgett Harr, CNP, of Cleveland Clinic, discusses the advanced practice nurse follow-up clinic, which focuses on symptom management in the first 90 days postchemoradiation (Abstract 3169).

gynecologic cancer
colorectal cancer
head and neck cancer
issues in oncology
issues in oncology

100% of NCI-Designated Cancer Centers Endorse the Promotion of the HPV Vaccination for Cancer Prevention

All National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated cancer centers have united to support human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination. A team of HPV experts drafted a consensus statement that advises widespread use of HPV vaccines to prevent cancer. HPV causes cancer of the cervix, anus, and throat. The HPV ...

head and neck cancer

Oral Rinse Doxepin Relieves Painful Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer

Doxepin oral rinse significantly improved oral mucositis in patients treated with radiation therapy for head and neck cancer according to results of a phase III trial presented at the 54th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) in Boston. However, the improvement was...

head and neck cancer

Four-plus Cups of Coffee Daily Linked to Lower Risk of Death from Oral/Pharyngeal Cancer 

Consuming four or more cups per day of caffeinated coffee could almost halve the risk of dying from oral/pharyngeal cancer compared to drinking no coffee or drinking it only occasionally, researchers reported in the American Journal of Epidemiology. “A dose-related decline in relative risk was...

head and neck cancer
lung cancer
issues in oncology

Patients with Cancer Need to Know That It Is Never Too Late to Quit Smoking 

In the News focuses on media reports that your patients may have questions about at their next visit. This continuing column will provide summaries of articles in the popular press that may prompt such questions, as well as comments from colleagues in the field. Patients with head and neck or lung ...

head and neck cancer

Two Studies Focus on Treatment Strategies for Preserving the Larynx While Increasing Survival

Two recent studies in the Journal of Clinical Oncology focused on treatment strategies to preserve the larynx while increasing survival of patients with cancer of larynx. RTOG 91-11 Ten-year results from the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 91-11 trial found that both chemotherapy regimens ...

head and neck cancer

Novel Approaches to Genetic Testing and Overcoming Treatment Resistance Highlighted at AACR Meeting 

Below are brief summaries of highlights from the very full, comprehensive collection of studies presented at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. The abstracts describe a potential strategy to overcome resistance and genetic characterization of...

solid tumors
head and neck cancer

Genetic Diversity May Predict Outcomes in Head and Neck Cancer

A new measure of cell heterogeneity within a tumor may predict treatment outcomes of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.  In a recent report,1 investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary reported how the mutant allele tumor...

head and neck cancer

SGX942 Gets Fast Track Status for Treatment of Oral Mucositis

The FDA has granted fast track designation to the SGX942 development program for the treatment of oral mucositis as a result of radiation and/or chemotherapy treatment in patients with head and neck cancer. SGX942 is a fully synthetic, 5-amino acid peptide with high aqueous solubility and...

head and neck cancer

Support Group Offers Resources for Patients with Oral/Head and Neck Cancer

I am the Outreach Administrator/Newsletter Editor at Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer (SPOHNC). SPOHNC is a national nonprofit organization involved in the development of support programs. As such, it can have an enormous positive impact on meeting the psychosocial needs of...

head and neck cancer

Meta-Analysis: Addition of Taxane to Cisplatin/5-FU Induction Improves Outcome in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancers 

Cisplatin plus fluorouracil (5-FU) induction chemotherapy has been compared with taxane (docetaxel or paclitaxel), cisplatin, and 5-FU in randomized trials in locoregionally advanced head and neck cancers. An updated individual patient data meta-analysis reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology ...

head and neck cancer

Many Patients With Head and Neck Cancer Report Being Depressed, but Few Use Mental Health Services  

Despite a relatively high rate of depression among patients with head and neck cancer following radiation therapy, mental health services were severely underutilized in this group, concluded researchers who analyzed questionnaire results from 211 patients. The patients had been previously treated...

head and neck cancer

Couple Pledges $10 Million Gift to MD Anderson’s Head and Neck Cancer Center

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, recently announced that Charles and Daneen Stiefel, of Raleigh, North Carolina, have pledged $10 million to the Head and Neck Cancer Center at MD Anderson. In honor of their generosity, the institution will name the Charles and...

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