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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...

head and neck cancer

ESMO 2018: Cetuximab vs Cisplatin in Patients With HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer Receiving Radiotherapy

Patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive throat cancer responded better to chemoradiotherapy than to cetuximab (Erbitux) with radiotherapy, according to late-breaking research reported by Mehanna et al at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress (Abstract LBA9_PR)....

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Ezra E.W. Cohen, MD, on Head and Neck Cancer: Using Curative Immunotherapy

Ezra E.W. Cohen, MD, of the University of California, San Diego, discusses the effectiveness of anti–PD-1 therapy in patients with recurrent head and neck cancer and the studies that might help predict who will benefit, how to combine agents, and ways to reduce long-term toxicity.

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

DNA Vaccine Leads to Immune Responses in HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancer in Small Study

A therapeutic vaccine may boost antibodies and T cells, helping them infiltrate human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck cancer tumors. Researchers from the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania tested the immunotherapy approach in two groups of patients with...

head and neck cancer

Low- vs High-Dose Cisplatin Chemoradiotherapy in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In an analysis of Veterans Affairs data reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Bauml et al found that weekly lower-dose cisplatin vs higher-dose cisplatin given every 3 weeks as part of concurrent definitive chemoradiotherapy may not adversely affect survival, while reducing...

head and neck cancer

ASCO Endorses CAP Guideline on HPV Testing in Head and Neck Carcinoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Carole Fakhry, MD, MPH, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and colleagues, ASCO has endorsed the 2018 College of American Pathologists (CAP) guideline on human papillomavirus (HPV) testing in head and neck carcinoma. The endorsement was based on...

head and neck cancer

Prediction of Survival and Disease Control in HPV-Negative Head and Neck Cancer Using Molecular Markers

A new method may predict the course of human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative head and neck cancer after radiochemotherapy. According to findings published by Hess et al in Clinical Cancer Research, five microRNAs (miRNAs) may be able to provide the decisive data. Squamous cell carcinomas of the head ...

gynecologic cancers
head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

HPV Vaccine Completion Up 5% From 2016 to 2017

The number of adolescents who are up to date on human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination—meaning they started and completed the HPV vaccine series—increased 5 percentage points from 2016 to 2017, according to results from a national survey published by Walker et al in Morbidity and...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Induction Chemotherapy Followed by Cetuximab and Radiotherapy vs Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Geoffrois et al, the European phase III GORTEC (Groupe Oncologie Radiothèrapie Tête et Cou) 2007-02 trial has shown no improvement in progression-free survival with induction chemotherapy followed by cetuximab and radiotherapy (RT) vs...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Cetuximab With Radiotherapy Found to Be Inferior to Standard Treatment in HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer

An interim analysis of data from a randomized clinical trial of patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer found that treatment with radiation therapy and cetuximab (Erbitux) is associated with worse overall and progression-free survival compared to the current standard...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

KEYNOTE-048: Pembrolizumab Monotherapy in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The phase III KEYNOTE-048 trial, which is investigating pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), met a primary endpoint of overall survival (OS) as monotherapy in patients whose tumors expressed programmed cell death ...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Pazopanib Plus Cetuximab in Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Adkins et al, the addition of the angiogenesis inhibitor pazopanib (Votrient) to cetuximab (Erbitux) in a phase Ib and expansion cohort study showed activity in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In the...

head and neck cancer

Adding Motolimod to Standard Chemotherapy and Cetuximab in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In a phase II trial (Active8) reported in JAMA Oncology, Ferris et al found that the addition of the toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) agonist motolimod to platinum-fluorouracil plus cetuximab (Erbitux) did not improve progression-free survival among all patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous...

head and neck cancer

Addition of Concurrent Chemotherapy to EGFR Inhibitor and Radiotherapy in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Carcinoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Tao et al, the phase III GORTEC (Groupe Oncologie Radiothèrapie Tête et Cou) 2007-01 trial has shown improved progression-free survival with the addition of concurrent chemotherapy to cetuximab (Erbitux) and radiotherapy (RT) in...

head and neck cancer
survivorship

Male Thyroid Cancer Survivors Face 50% Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Than Women

Male thyroid cancer survivors have a nearly 50% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than women within 5 years of cancer diagnosis, according to a new study published by Park et al in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. More than 62,000 new cases of thyroid cancer...

head and neck cancer

Manisha H. Shah, MD, on Thyroid Cancer: Advances in Precision Medicine

Manisha H. Shah, MD, of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, summarizes a session she chaired on progress in tailored treatments for medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancers as well as salivary gland cancer.

head and neck cancer

Jed A. Katzel, MD, on Head and Neck Cancer: Findings on Treatment of Female Patients

Jed A. Katzel, MD, of Kaiser Permanente, discusses his team’s findings on the disparities in head and neck cancer treatment for women and the possible missed opportunities to take a more aggressive and beneficial approach (Abstract LBA6002).

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

2018 ASCO: Gender Disparities in Head and Neck Cancer Treatment and Outcomes

An analysis of cancer registry data from a California hospital system showed that women with head and neck cancer were less likely to receive intensive chemotherapy (35% vs 46%) and radiation (60% vs 70%) compared to men. Controlling for factors such as age and serious medical conditions, a...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Immunotherapy in Recurrent and Metastatic Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In an international phase II trial (Mayo Clinic Phase 2 Consortium–NCI-9742) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ma et al found that nivolumab (Opdivo) was active in previously treated recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Study Details In the study, 44 evaluable...

head and neck cancer

Postoperative Chemoradiotherapy vs Radiotherapy in High-Risk Cutaneous Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In an Australia-New Zealand phase III trial (Trans Tasman Radiation Oncology Group 05.01) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Porceddu et al found no benefit of adding carboplatin to postoperative radiation therapy in patients with high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma of the head...

head and neck cancer

Concurrent Chemoradiotherapy With Nedaplatin vs Cisplatin in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Tang et al, a Chinese phase III noninferiority trial has shown similar progression-free survival with nedaplatin- vs cisplatin-based chemoradiotherapy in patients with stage II to IVB nasopharyngeal carcinoma, with nedaplatin being associated with fewer severe...

head and neck cancer

Competing Causes of Death vs Primary Disease in Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer

In a study reported in JAMA Oncology, Simpson et al found that each year of survival in patients with primary head and neck cancer was associated with a 26% increased risk of death from competing causes, and that competing causes predominated after 5 years postdiagnosis. Study Details The study...

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