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head and neck cancer

Christopher Nutting, MD, PhD, on Head and Neck Cancer: Dysphagia-Optimized vs Standard IMRT

Christopher Nutting, MD, PhD, of the Royal Marsden Hospital and Institute of Cancer Research, discusses phase III results from the first study to demonstrate the functional benefit of swallow-sparing intensity-modulated radiotherapy in oro- and hypopharyngeal cancers (Abstract 6508).

head and neck cancer
survivorship

Pam Baker DeGuzman, PhD, on Assessing Distress During Telemedicine Visits With Rural Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer

Pam Baker DeGuzman, PhD, of the University of Virginia School of Nursing, discusses her study findings on the use of the NCCN Distress Thermometer, which identified and addressed distress in patients treated for head and neck cancer who were then referred to speech pathologists, lymphedema...

head and neck cancer

Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD, on HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Cancer: Challenges in De-intensifying Radiation Therapy

Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, talks about the variety of evolving ways to deintensify radiation therapy, the critical need to counsel patients on the risks and benefits, and the ethical importance of respecting patient preferences in choosing their cancer...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Jared Weiss, MD, on Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck: When Standard Therapy is Contraindicated

Jared Weiss, MD, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, discusses outcomes for patients with stage III or IV disease who are ineligible for the standard treatment of cisplatin plus radiotherapy. His data suggest that treatment with pembrolizumab/radiotherapy instead is tolerable, with...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Jonathan D. Schoenfeld, MD, MPH, on Oral Cavity Cancer: Neoadjuvant Nivolumab With or Without Ipilimumab

Jonathan D. Schoenfeld, MD, MPH, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, discusses phase II study results with the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab or the combination of PD-1/CTLA-4 inhibition with nivolumab/ipilimumab in patients with newly diagnosed untreated oral cavity cancer...

head and neck cancer
pain management

Gopal K. Bajaj, MD, MBA, on Reducing Opioid Use in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer Undergoing Radiotherapy

Gopal K. Bajaj, MD, MBA, of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, discusses the results of a small study that showed prophylactic gabapentin can be safely and effectively used to significantly reduce pain and the use of opioids in patients undergoing radiotherapy or chemoradiotherapy for head and neck...

head and neck cancer

David Adelstein, MD, on Guidelines for Treating HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

David Adelstein, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, discusses the hypothesis that treatment can be de-intensified in patients with HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer and a good prognosis.

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Jill Gilbert, MD, on HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Cancer: Challenges in De-intensifying Systemic Therapies

Jill Gilbert, MD, of Vanderbilt University Medical Center, discusses this ongoing area of investigation and which patients can safely undergo a de-intensification of treatment. Based on two randomized trials, cetuximab should not be substituted for cisplatin as a de-intensification strategy in...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Assuntina G. Sacco, MD, on Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Trial Results on Pembrolizumab and Cetuximab

Assuntina G. Sacco, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, discusses the results of a small phase II study, which suggest that pembrolizumab plus cetuximab may show activity for platinum-refractory/-ineligible patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Nadeem Riaz, MD, on Established and Emerging Biomarkers for Immunotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer

Nadeem Riaz, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the biomarkers that have emerged for immunotherapy and their tumor microenvironments, from PD-L1 staining and the Combined Positive Score to next-generation genomic technologies.

head and neck cancer
symptom management

Carryn M. Anderson, MD, on Reducing Severe Oral Mucositis and Its Effect on Patient Outcomes

Carryn M. Anderson, MD, of the University of Iowa Hospital, discusses the investigational agent GC4419, previously shown to be safe and effective in decreasing the duration, incidence, and severity of oral mucositis in patients receiving concurrent cisplatin and radiation for oral cavity and...

head and neck cancer

Francis P. Worden, MD, on the Role of Induction Chemotherapy in Laryngeal Preservation

Francis P. Worden, MD, of the University of Michigan Health System Comprehensive Cancer Center, explores the use of novel biomarkers that may help predict response to induction chemotherapy and survival in patients with locally advanced laryngeal cancer.

head and neck cancer

Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD, on Oropharyngeal Cancer: Deintensifying Radiation Therapy Plus Chemotherapy

Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, discusses phase II results showing that swallowing-related quality of life after deintensified chemoradiation therapy may improve in patients with p16-positive, nonsmoking-associated, locoregionally advanced disease (Abstract...

head and neck cancer

David Routman, MD, on Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and HPV Circulating Tumor DNA

David Routman, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses his study findings showing that detectable human papillomavirus circulating tumor DNA in the postoperative setting may be linked to disease progression, which may help improve patient selection for treatment intensity (Abstract LBA5).

head and neck cancer

Swallowing-Related Quality of Life After Radiotherapy vs Surgery for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In the phase II ORATOR trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Nichols et al found a statistical but not clinically meaningful improvement in swallowing-related quality of life outcomes 1 year after treatment with radiotherapy vs transoral robotic surgery and neck dissection in patients with...

head and neck cancer

Deintensified Chemoradiotherapy for HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In a phase II trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Chera et al found that deintensified chemoradiotherapy produced favorable outcomes in human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Study Details In the multicenter trial, 114 patients were recruited...

head and neck cancer

Incidence of HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancers in the United States

In a study by Mahal et al published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers conducted a population-based assessment of the incidence and demographic burden of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma in the United States. The researchers...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
head and neck cancer
lung cancer

FDA Approves Entrectinib for NTRK-Fusion Cancers, ROS1-Positive NSCLC

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to entrectinib (Rozlytrek) for adult and adolescent patients whose cancers have an NTRK (neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase) genetic fusion and for whom there are no effective treatments. Entrectinib was also...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Palbociclib Plus Cetuximab in Platinum- and Cetuximab-Resistant HPV-Unrelated Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Adkins et al found that the combination of the cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor palbociclib and the EGFR inhibitor cetuximab showed activity in patients with either platinum- or cetuximab-resistant human papillomavirus...

head and neck cancer

Long-Term Results of the Omission of Postoperative Radiation to the Pathologically Node-Negative Neck in Primary HNSCC

Long-term results of a single-institution phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Contreras et al showed that the omission of postoperative radiation therapy to the pathologically negative (PN0) neck was associated with good outcomes among patients with primary head and neck...

head and neck cancer
lung cancer
issues in oncology

Do Statins Lower the Risk of Cardiovascular Complications in Patients Treated With Radiotherapy to the Chest, Neck, or Head?

Patients with cancer who took cholesterol-lowering statin medication following radiation therapy of the chest, neck, or head had significantly reduced risk of suffering a stroke—and possibly other cardiovascular complications—according to research published by Boulet et al in...

head and neck cancer

Immune Response to HPV16-Driven Tumorigenesis May Be Detectable Before Clinical Diagnosis of Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

An international group of researchers has found that antibodies to the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) may develop in the body between 6 to 40 years prior to a clinical diagnosis of oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, and their presence indicates a strong increased risk of the disease....

head and neck cancer

Dose De-escalation in Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy for HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In a phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ma et al found that aggressive radiotherapy dose de-escalation in adjuvant chemoradiotherapy for human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma was associated with disease control rates comparable to...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for the First-Line Treatment of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

On June 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the anti–programmed cell death protein 1 immunotherapy pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic or unresectable recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Pembrolizumab was...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Danny Rischin, MD, on Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: KEYNOTE-048 Trial on Pembrolizumab

Danny Rischin, MD, of Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, discusses phase III results that support pembrolizumab with and without platinum-based chemotherapy plus fluorouracil as new first-line standards of care for recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (Abstract 6000).

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

2019 ASCO: Final Analysis of KEYNOTE-048: First-Line Pembrolizumab for Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The phase III KEYNOTE-048 trial is examining the efficacy of pembrolizumab alone, pembrolizumab/cisplatin or carboplatin/fluorouracil (5-FU), or cetuximab/cisplatin or carboplatin/5-FU as first-line therapy for recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. At the second interim...

head and neck cancer

HPV DNA and Outcomes After Primary Treatment for Oral and Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinomas

In a two-institution study reported in JAMA Oncology, Fakhry et al found that persistent detection of tumor-type human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA after primary treatment for oral and oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas was associated with poorer outcomes. Study Details The prospective study...

head and neck cancer

Oropharyngeal Cancer Trends in White Men

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Tota et al found that there has been a reduction in the increase of oropharyngeal cancer among young white men, with a high number of cases projected among older white men in coming years. As stated by the investigators, “Human...

head and neck cancer
pain management

Doxepin or Diphenhydramine/Lidocaine/Antacid Mouthwash for Radiotherapy-Related Oral Mucositis Pain

In the phase III Alliance A221304 trial reported in JAMA, Sio et al found that doxepin mouthwash and diphenhydramine/lidocaine/antacid mouthwash reduced oral mucositis pain for the first 4 hours after administration in patients with oral mucositis pain from head and neck radiotherapy, but the...

head and neck cancer

Lenvatinib in Recurrent or Metastatic Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

In a single-center phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Tchekmedyian et al found that the multitargeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor lenvatinib was active in progressive recurrent or metastatic adenoid cystic carcinoma. Study Details In the study, 32 evaluable patients at...

head and neck cancer
symptom management

AACR 2019: Effect of Timing of Radiotherapy on Mucositis in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

New research presented by Gu et al at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2019 found that administering radiation treatments in the morning as opposed to later in the day may significantly reduce the severity of mucositis and its related impacts (Abstract 4860).  ...

head and neck cancer

Effect of PET/CT on Surgical Planning for Head and Neck Cancer

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lowe et al found that 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron-emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) had a high negative predictive value in the clinically N0 neck in patients with newly diagnosed head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, with ...

head and neck cancer
kidney cancer
immunotherapy

FDA Pipeline: Priority Reviews in Renal Cell Carcinoma and Head and Neck Cancer

Over the past week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted multiple Priority Reviews: Pembrolizumab in Combination With Axitinib as First-Line Treatment for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma Today, the FDA accepted and granted Priority Review for a new supplemental biologics license...

head and neck cancer

Small Study Investigates Rise of Glottic Carcinoma in Young Adults and HPV Infection

An increase in the diagnosis of glottic carcinoma in young adults may be due in part to infection with strains of human papillomavirus (HPV). Investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) described finding HPV infection in all tested samples of glottic carcinoma from 10 patients diagnosed ...

head and neck cancer
gastrointestinal cancer
immunotherapy

2019 GI Cancers Symposium: Pembrolizumab in Second-Line Therapy for Advanced Esophageal Cancer

Pembrolizumab significantly improved overall survival in the second-line setting of advanced esophageal cancer in patients whose tumors tested positive for programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) with a combined positive score (CPS) of 10 or greater. This was compared to investigator’s choice...

head and neck cancer

Study Finds World Trade Center Responders May Be at Increased Risk for Head and Neck Cancers

A study by Graber et al in the International Journal of Cancer has found a significant increase in head and neck cancers among workers and volunteers who responded to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), pointing to newly emerging risks that require ongoing monitoring ...

head and neck cancer

Response to Induction Chemotherapy and Outcomes With Definitive Chemoradiotherapy or Surgery in Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma

In a single-center experience reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Amit et al found that among patients with sinonasal undifferentiated carcinoma with a favorable response to induction chemotherapy, disease-specific survival was better in those receiving definitive concurrent...

head and neck cancer

Study Identifies Prognostic Biomarker in HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancers

A study investigating how to identify and treat patients with high- and low-risk human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma has demonstrated variations in HPV-related molecules among HPV-positive cases of the disease. Using their findings, the investigators developed a ...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Facing Death: Having the Difficult Conversation With Your Patients

Michael Becker, a former CEO for two biotechnology companies, discusses his terminal head and neck cancer diagnosis and his message for oncologists: be proactive and, at the appropriate time, talk with your patients about death and dying. For more information about Michael Becker’s blog and his HPV ...

head and neck cancer

Radiotherapy Plus Cetuximab or Cisplatin in HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Carcinoma

In a noninferiority phase III trial (NRG Oncology RTOG 1016) reported in The Lancet, Gillison et al found that radiotherapy plus cetuximab (Erbitux) was associated with poorer overall survival vs radiotherapy plus cisplatin in patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab vs Standard of Care in Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In the phase III KEYNOTE-040 trial reported in The Lancet, Cohen et al found that pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was associated with a “clinically meaningful prolongation of overall survival” vs investigator’s choice of standard therapies in patients with previously treated recurrent or ...

head and neck cancer

Radiotherapy With Cisplatin or Cetuximab in Low-Risk, HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer

In the phase III De-ESCALaTE trial reported in The Lancet, Mehanna et al found no difference in severe toxicity with cisplatin vs cetuximab (Erbitux) plus radiotherapy in low-risk human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer. Cetuximab was associated with poorer recurrence and survival...

head and neck cancer

Multigene Classifier Test for Thyroid Nodules With Indeterminate Cytology

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Steward et al found that the use of a multigene genomic classifier test (ThyroSeq v3) could reduce the need for diagnostic surgery in a substantial proportion of patients with thyroid nodules with indeterminate cytology. The blinded prospective cohort...

head and neck cancer

Durvalumab With or Without Tremelimumab in Recurrent or Metastatic HNSCC With Low/No PD-L1 Expression

In a randomized phase II trial reported in JAMA Oncology, Siu et al found that the combination of the programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor durvalumab (Imfinzi) plus the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) inhibitor tremelimumab and durvalumab alone showed evidence ...

head and neck cancer

Suicide Risk Among Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

In a study reported in Cancer, Osazuwa-Peters et al found that the mortality rate from suicide among head and neck cancer survivors was twice as high as the pooled rate in survivors of 19 other cancers considered in the study. Only the rate of suicide in pancreatic cancer survivors was higher...

head and neck cancer

2018 ASTRO: Liquid Biopsy in HPV-Associated Oral Cancer Surveillance

A highly sensitive blood test that detects minute traces of cancer-specific DNA has been shown to accurately determine whether patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) are free from cancer following radiation therapy. Findings were presented by...

head and neck cancer
symptom management

Thomas Galloway, MD, on Oropharyngeal Cancer: Improving Outcomes and Reducing Toxicity

Thomas Galloway, MD, of Fox Chase Cancer Center, summarizes a session on head and neck cancer that included findings on reducing oral mucositis, improving quality of life with deintensified chemoradiotherapy, and the costs of dose de-escalation (Scientific Session 31).

head and neck cancer

Bhisham Chera, MD, on Oropharyngeal Cancer: Expert Perspective on Surveillance

Bhisham Chera, MD, of the University of North Carolina, discusses using human papillomavirus found in plasma circulating tumor DNA to monitor cancer recurrence in HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer (Abstract LBA6).  

head and neck cancer

2018 ASTRO: Combined Radiation and Cisplatin in HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancer

A phase III trial has determined that cisplatin chemotherapy combined with radiation therapy showed high amounts of activity in human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck cancer. Findings from NRG-RTOG 1016 were presented by Trotti et al the 60th Annual Meeting of the American Society for...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

ESMO 2018: First-Line Immunotherapy for Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) improved survival in patients with head and neck cancer that has recurred or metastasized in the KEYNOTE-048 trial, according to late-breaking results from the study reported by Burtness et al at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress (Abstract...

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