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Head and Neck Cancer
Palliative Care

Weekly Outpatient Palliative Care Interventions Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Over 90% of patients with head and neck cancer receiving curative-intent chemoradiation therapy found weekly palliative care visits to be a valuable addition to their treatment, a recent study published by Bauman et al in the Journal of Palliative Medicine found. Although palliative care is known...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Nivolumab in Resected Esophageal or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer

On May 20, 2021, nivolumab was approved for adjuvant treatment of patients with completely resected esophageal or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer with residual pathologic disease after neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy.1,2 Supporting Efficacy Data Approval was based on findings from the...

Head and Neck Cancer

ASCO Releases Recommendations for Management of Salivary Gland Malignancies

Given the rarity of salivary gland malignancies—neoplasms that account for less than 1% to 5% of all head and neck cancers—limited evidence exists to support informed treatment guidance. The overall variability in the biologic behaviors of these neoplasms has further complicated clinical...

Immunotherapy
Head and Neck Cancer

CheckMate 648: First-Line Nivolumab Regimens Improve Survival in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

As first-line treatment of advanced esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, nivolumab-containing regimens improved overall survival over standard-of-care chemotherapy, according to the first results of the global phase III CheckMate 648 trial presented at the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting by Ian Chau, MD,...

Head and Neck Cancer
Survivorship

Study Explores Taste and Smell Dysfunction in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Most survivors of head and neck squamous cell cancers report that their sense of taste is dulled, changed, or lost during radiation treatment. In a study of taste and smell dysfunction in 40 cancer survivors, scientists found that the tips of these individuals' tongues were significantly less...

Head and Neck Cancer

Adjuvant Metronomic Capecitabine for Locoregionally Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In a Chinese phase III study reported in The Lancet, Chen et al found that the use of adjuvant metronomic capecitabine improved failure-free survival vs observation after definitive chemoradiotherapy in patients with high-risk locoregionally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Study Details In the...

Head and Neck Cancer

Novel Monoclonal Antibody Emerges as Potential First-Line Standard in Nasopharyngeal Cancer

A new first-line standard of care may be emerging for recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma, based on the findings of the global phase III JUPITER-02 trial presented at the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting by investigators from China.1 In the study, toripalimab, an anti–PD-1 monoclonal antibody, ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Lobaplatin- vs Cisplatin-Based Induction and Chemoradiotherapy in Previously Untreated Locoregionally Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In a Chinese phase III trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Xing Lv, MD, and colleagues found noninferior progression-free survival with induction therapy with the third-generation platinum lobaplatin/fluorouracil (5-FU) vs cisplatin/5-FU, followed by lobaplatin- vs cisplatin-based...

Head and Neck Cancer

I Was Given a ‘Death Sentence’ at Just 17

A minor car accident I had with my mother when I was 17 probably saved my life. We were taken to the hospital for a routine checkup, and a subsequent chest x-ray found multiple nodules on my lungs. I underwent dozens of other imaging and blood tests, and finally, my pediatrician suggested my...

Head and Neck Cancer

Transoral Surgery Followed by Lower-Dose Radiation in Patients With HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Cancer at Intermediate Risk of Recurrence

The phase II E3311 trial offers new information about using reduced-intensity treatment in patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal cancer who are at intermediate risk of recurrence. These findings were presented by Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, and colleagues during the 2021...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Toripalimab Plus Gemcitabine/Cisplatin Extends Progression-Free Survival in Recurrent or Metastatic Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: JUPITER-02

According to the results from the phase III JUPITER-02 study, the addition of toripalimab, a humanized IgG4K anti–PD-1 monoclonal antibody, to standard gemcitabine/cisplatin chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma provided superior progression-free...

Head and Neck Cancer

A Pioneer in Head and Neck Cancer Surgery Whose Career Was Founded on Passion and Dedication

The term “head and neck surgery” had little meaning until the 1940s, when it was used by groundbreaking surgeon Hayes Martin, MD, in one of his publications. Dr. Martin was then Chief of Head and Neck Services at Memorial Hospital, later renamed Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), where...

Head and Neck Cancer

Oncolytic Virotherapy Achieves Early Signs of Success in High-Grade Gliomas

Treatment with genetically engineered oncolytic herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) G207 alone or with radiation resulted in encouraging outcomes in a small study of pediatric patients with high-grade glioma. In a phase I trial, responses were observed in 11 of 12 children, and median overall...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab Plus Cetuximab in Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer

In a cohort of a phase II trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Assuntina G. Sacco, MD, and colleagues found that the combination of pembrolizumab and cetuximab produced durable responses in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma who had received no prior PD-1, ...

Issues in Oncology
Gynecologic Cancers
Head and Neck Cancer
Colorectal Cancer

With the Exception of Cervical Cancer, HPV-Related Cancers Are on the Rise, Especially in Older Adults

Although the incidence of cervical cancer has decreased by 1.03% a year over the last 16 years—likely due to screening or human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination—other HPV-related cancers are increasing in both men and women, according to a study by Liao et al presented at a presscast in advance of...

Head and Neck Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck: Current Status and Future Directions

Although head and neck cancers include multiple histologies and primary sites, squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) originating in the oropharynx, oral cavity, larynx, or hypopharynx are the most common. Today, we recognize several different types of head and neck diseases, primarily those that are human ...

Issues in Oncology
Head and Neck Cancer

New Research Finds Few Young Adult Men Have Received the HPV Vaccine

Using data from the 2010–2018 National Health Interview Surveys, Chen et al found that just 16% of men who were 18 to 21 years old had received at least one dose of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine at any age. In comparison, 42% of women in the same age bracket had gotten at least one shot of ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy–Navigated vs Elective Neck Dissection for Early Oral Cancer

In a Japanese noninferiority phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Hasegawa et al found noninferior survival and improved neck functionality with sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB)-navigated neck dissection vs elective neck dissection in patients with previously untreated...

Head and Neck Cancer

Lobaplatin- vs Cisplatin-Based Induction and Chemoradiotherapy in Previously Untreated Locoregionally Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In a Chinese phase III trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Lv et al found noninferior progression-free survival with induction therapy with the third-generation platinum lobaplatin/fluorouracil vs cisplatin/fluorouracil, followed by lobaplatin- vs cisplatin-based chemoradiotherapy, in patients...

Head and Neck Cancer

Meta-analysis of Treatment Modalities for Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In an individual patient data network meta-analysis reported in The Lancet Oncology, Petit et al identified treatment modalities associated with improved overall survival vs locoregional treatment alone in nonmetastatic head and neck squamous cell cancer, with hyperfractionated radiotherapy and...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Addition of Avelumab to Chemoradiotherapy in Previously Untreated Patients With Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Nancy Y. Lee, MD, and colleagues, the phase III JAVELIN Head and Neck 100 trial showed no improvement in progression-free survival with the addition of the PD-L1 inhibitor avelumab to chemoradiotherapy in patients with previously untreated locally advanced...

Head and Neck Cancer

Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck: Current Status and Future Directions

Although head and neck cancers include multiple histologies and primary sites, squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) originating in the oropharynx, oral cavity, larynx, or hypopharynx are the most common. Today, we recognize different types of head and neck cancers, primarily those that are human...

Head and Neck Cancer

Stand Up To Cancer Announces $3.25 Million in Grants for Head/Neck Cancer Research

Stand Up To Cancer has announced $3.25 million in grants from four national nonprofits to fund research to find new treatments for head and neck cancers, which are newly diagnosed in about 65,000 Americans every year. The grants include contributions of $1.5 million each from the Fanconi Anemia...

Colorectal Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer

FDA Approves New Dosing Regimen for Cetuximab in Colorectal Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer

On April 6, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new dosage regimen for cetuximab (Erbitux) of 500 mg/m2 as a 120-minute intravenous infusion every 2 weeks for patients with KRAS wild-type, EGFR-expressing colorectal cancer or squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. This...

head and neck cancer
supportive care

David G. Pfister, MD, on Supportive Care in Head and Neck Cancers: Multidisciplinary Management

David G. Pfister, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the many considerations when caring for patients with head and neck cancers, such as dental and nutritional issues; side effects from radiation, including necrosis of the bone; oral health; problems with speech; and the concerns of younger patients who may have to cope with the sequelae of treatment such as altered function or disfigurement for years to come.

Head and Neck Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

Tipifarnib for Patients With Advanced HRAS-Mutant Head and Neck Cancer and High Variant Allele Frequency

In a phase II trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ho et al found that tipifarnib produced a high response rate among patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma with HRAS mutations and high variant allele frequency. As stated by the investigators,...

Head and Neck Cancer

First-Line TPEx vs EXTREME Regimen for Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In a phase II trial (GORTEC 2014-01 TPExtreme) reported in The Lancet Oncology, Joël Guigay, MD, and colleagues found that first-line TPEx (docetaxel/platinum/cetuximab) did not improve overall survival vs the standard-of-care EXTREME regimen (fluorouracil [5-FU]/platinum/cetuximab) in patients...

Gynecologic Cancers
Head and Neck Cancer
Thyroid Cancer
Hematologic Malignancies

FDA Pipeline: Designations in Ovarian, Head/Neck, and Thyroid Cancers

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Fast Track designation to a novel immunotherapy for the treatment of ovarian cancer as well as Breakthrough Therapy designation to treatments for HRAS-mutant head and neck squamous cell carcinoma and previously treated thyroid cancer....

Head and Neck Cancer

Endoscopic Nasopharyngectomy vs IMRT for Previously Treated, Resectable, Locally Recurrent Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In a Chinese phase III trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Liu et al found that endoscopic nasopharyngectomy was associated with improved overall survival vs intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) in patients with resectable locally recurrent nasopharyngeal carcinoma who had received prior...

Head and Neck Cancer

Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology and ASCO Approve First Joint Guideline for Treatment of Stage II to IVA Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

The Chinese Society of Clinical Oncology (CSCO) and ASCO have approved a joint guideline for the treatment of stage II to IVA nasopharyngeal carcinoma.1 The guideline was drafted by a panel of Chinese and U.S. experts and provides, for the first time, a clear set of recommendations for the use of...

Head and Neck Cancer

Reduced-Dose Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy for HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Carcinoma

In the phase II NRG Oncology HN002 trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Sue S. Yom, MD, PhD, and colleagues found that a reduced-dose intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) regimen for human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma satisfied...

Head and Neck Cancer

Emergency Department Use and Unplanned Hospitalization Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer: Association With Reported Symptom Burden

In a Canadian population-based study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Noel et al found that patient-reported symptom burden was significantly associated with the likelihood of emergency department use and unplanned hospitalization among patients with head and neck cancer. Study ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Comprehensive Multiomic Resource for HPV-Negative Head and Neck Cancers

In a comprehensive molecular characterization of the most common type of head and neck cancer, researchers from the United States and Poland have clarified the contribution of key cancer-associated genes, proteins, and signaling pathways in these cancers, while proposing possible new treatment...

Head and Neck Cancer

Pralsetinib for RET-Altered Thyroid Cancers

In the Clinic provides overviews of novel oncology agents, addressing indications, mechanisms of action, administration recommendations, safety profiles, and other essential information needed for the appropriate clinical use of these drugs. On December 1, 2020, pralsetinib (Gavreto) was granted...

Head and Neck Cancer

Older Woman With Eye Tumor

The text and photograph here are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology: Tumors & Treatment, A Photographic History, The Antiseptic Era 1876–1900 by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, and Elizabeth A. Burns. The photograph appears courtesy of Stanley B. Burns, MD, and The Burns...

Head and Neck Cancer

Researchers Join $10 Million Project to Better Understand Sex Differences in Brain Cancer Outcomes

Researchers from Penn State College of Medicine are participating in a $10 million project to better understand why men and women with a common and deadly type of brain cancer have different survival rates. The investigators hope the study results can be used to develop new therapeutic approaches...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Phase II Study of Combination Immunotherapy for Advanced Nasopharyngeal Cancer

Dual CTLA-4/PD-1 blockade with ipilimumab plus nivolumab provided durable responses in patients with recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma, according to updated efficacy and safety findings from a phase II study presented by Kao et al at ESMO Asia Virtual Congress 2020 (Abstract 266O)....

Head and Neck Cancer

Study Shows Equivalence of Sentinel Node Biopsy vs Neck Node Dissection in Operable Oral or Oropharyngeal Cancer

In the French phase III Senti-MERORL trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Renaud Garrel, MD, PhD, of the University Hospital Center of Montpellier, France, and colleagues, found that sentinel node biopsy was equivalent to neck lymph node dissection in 2-year neck node...

Head and Neck Cancer

Stereotactic Radiosurgery May Delay Cognitive Deterioration vs Whole-Brain Radiotherapy for Multiple Brain Metastases

Stereotactic radiosurgery appears to be a new standard of care for patients with four or more nonmelanoma brain metastases, perhaps replacing whole-brain radiotherapy in this setting, according to a potentially practice-changing phase III study presented at the 2020 American Society for Radiation...

Head and Neck Cancer

My Age May Have Been a Barrier to Timely Diagnosis of Glioblastoma Multiforme

I think my age and apparent good health contributed to a delay in my diagnosis of glioblastoma multiforme. The first symptom I had of the cancer appeared on December 26, 2014, when I was 32 years old. My family and I had just gotten home from celebrating the Christmas holiday with our relatives...

Head and Neck Cancer

Second-Line Pembrolizumab Improves Overall Survival vs Chemotherapy in Patients with Advanced Esophageal Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Takashi Kojima, MD, of the National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Japan, and colleagues, the phase III KEYNOTE-181 trial has shown that second-line pembrolizumab improved overall survival vs the investigator choice of chemotherapy in...

Head and Neck Cancer

Selpercatinib Shows Activity in RET Fusion–Positive NSCLC and RET-Altered Thyroid Cancer

As reported inThe New England Journal of Medicine by Alexander Drilon, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and colleagues and by Lori J. Wirth, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues, the phase I/II LIBRETTO-001 trial has shown marked activity of the RET kinase ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Radiotherapy With Cisplatin vs Cetuximab in Previously Untreated Patients With Locoregionally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In the Swedish ARTSCAN III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Gebre-Medhin et al found that radiotherapy with concomitant cetuximab did not improve outcomes vs radiotherapy with cisplatin in patients with previously untreated, locoregionally advanced head and neck squamous cell...

Head and Neck Cancer

First-Line Pembrolizumab Plus Chemotherapy Improves Survival in Esophageal Cancer

As first-line therapy for advanced esophageal cancer, pembrolizumab added to chemotherapy improved overall survival in the KEYNOTE-590 population. Not only did patients with high PD-L1 expression benefit, the value of checkpoint inhibition was observed for the whole population, the trial’s...

Head and Neck Cancer

Dana-Farber Announces Center for Salivary and Rare Head and Neck Cancers

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has launched the Center for Salivary and Rare Head and Neck Cancers to treat patients with rare and occasionally aggressive cancers arising from the head and neck. The Center is among the first in the country specifically dedicated to the care and therapeutic research...

Head and Neck Cancer

Novel IAP Blocker Plus Chemoradiotherapy Improved Outcomes in Head and Neck Cancer Trial

Xevinapant, an investigational inhibitor of apoptosis proteins (IAP) blocker, prolonged overall survival when added to standard chemoradiotherapy for locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, according to an updated analysis of a randomized, placebo-controlled phase II study presented ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Sentinel Node Biopsy vs Neck Node Dissection in Operable Oral or Oropharyngeal Cancer: Equivalence Trial

In a French phase III trial (Senti-MERORL) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Garrel et al found that sentinel node biopsy demonstrated oncologic equivalance to neck lymph node dissection in 2-year neck node recurrence–free survival in patients with operable cT1–T2N0 oral/oropharyngeal...

Head and Neck Cancer
Pain Management

Oral Cancer Pain May Predict Likelihood of Metastasis

Oral cancer may be more likely to spread in patients experiencing high levels of pain, according to a team of researchers who found genetic and cellular clues as to why metastatic oral cancers are so painful. These findings were published by Bhattacharya et al in Scientific Reports. Researchers...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Neck Tumor

The text and photographs here are excerpted from a four-volume series of books titled Oncology: Tumors & Treatment, A Photographic History, The Anesthesia Era 1845–1875 by Stanley B. Burns, MD, FACS, and Elizabeth A. Burns. The photograph appears courtesy of Stanley B. Burns, MD, and The Burns...

Head and Neck Cancer

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy Alone vs Chemoradiation in Esophageal Cancer: No Difference Found in Long-Term Survival

Improved local-regional tumor control may not be enough to justify the increased morbidity of adding neoadjuvant radiation to chemotherapy in esophageal and gastroesophageal junction cancers, according to a pair of studies presented during the 2020 Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) International...

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