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Head and Neck Cancer

Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma: Radiotherapy vs Chemoradiotherapy After Induction Chemotherapy

In a Chinese phase III study reported in JAMA Oncology, Dai et al found that induction chemotherapy followed by radiotherapy alone was noninferior in terms of progression-free survival vs induction chemotherapy followed by concomitant chemoradiotherapy in the first-line treatment of locoregionally...

head and neck cancer

Pooja Karukonda, MD, on Coping With Financial Toxicity in Head and Neck Cancer

Pooja Karukonda, MD, of Duke University Medical Center, discusses findings from the PaRTNer study, which addressed the large financial burden faced by patients with head and neck cancer undergoing radiotherapy, particularly older, non-White, female, and low-income patients. Dr. Karukonda discusses some ways to counter this adverse effect.

head and neck cancer
skin cancer

Nabil F. Saba, MD, on Preventing Radiation-Induced Mucositis in Patients With Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

Nabil F. Saba, MD, of Emory University, discusses phase II study results suggesting parenteral administration of TK-90 may be an effective strategy for preventing radiation-induced oral mucositis in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.

head and neck cancer
skin cancer

Christopher A. Barker, MD, on New Data on Vismodegib and Radiotherapy for Basal Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

Christopher A. Barker, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses phase II study results showing that patients with locally advanced, unresectable basal cell carcinoma of the head and neck experienced improved quality of life after induction and concurrent vismodegib with curative-intent radiation treatment. According to Dr. Barker, the data on this strategy may provide a beneficial benchmark for clinical practice (Abstract 9).

head and neck cancer

Nabil F. Saba, MD, on Head and Neck Cancer: Long-Term Survival Findings With Pembrolizumab and Cabozantinib

Nabil F. Saba, MD, of Emory University, discusses study findings on 2-year survival rates in patients with recurrent metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma who received pembrolizumab plus cabozantinib. The progression-free survival rate of 32% and the overall survival rate of 55% suggest a durable clinical activity of this combination therapy (Abstract 2).

Head and Neck Cancer
Survivorship

Risk of Stroke in Survivors of Head and Neck Cancer

In a Singaporean study reported in JAMA Network Open, Yip et al found that survivors of head and neck cancer were at an increased risk of stroke compared with the general population. Study Details The registry-based cross-sectional study involved 9,803 survivors—excluding those with a history of...

Head and Neck Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Exposure to Secondhand Smoke During Chemotherapy May Decrease Treatment Efficacy in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Researchers have found that exposure to secondhand smoke during treatment with cisplatin may reduce its effectiveness in patients with head and neck cancer, even if they don’t have a history of smoking, according to a recent study published by Sadhasivam et al in the International Journal of...

Head and Neck Cancer

HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Carcinoma: Tumor Hypoxia–Directed Treatment

In a single-institution phase II trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Nancy Y. Lee, MD, and colleagues found that tumor hypoxia is a promising marker for radiotherapy dose among patients receiving chemoradiotherapy for human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal carcinoma. As...

Head and Neck Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Treatment at Community Cancer Centers May Be Linked to Poorer Outcomes in Patients With HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Treatment in community cancer centers may be associated with a lower rate of survival among patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx, according to a recent study published by Trakimas et al in the Journal of the National Cancer...

Head and Neck Cancer

First-Line Selpercatinib: New Standard of Care for RET-Positive Medullary Thyroid Cancer?

First-line treatment with selpercatinib achieved a statistically significant improvement in progression-free survival and overall response rate vs treatment with cabozantinib or vandetanib in patients with multikinase inhibitor–naive, RET-mutant advanced or metastatic medullary thyroid cancer.1 At...

Head and Neck Cancer
Gastroesophageal Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Ultraprocessed Food May Heighten Risk of Head and Neck Cancer and Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

A higher consumption of ultraprocessed foods may be associated with the development of cancer of the upper–aerodigestive tract such as head and neck cancer and esophageal adenocarcinoma, according to a recent study published by Morales-Berstein et al in the European Journal of Nutrition. The new...

Head and Neck Cancer

FDA Approves Toripalimab-tpzi for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

On October 27, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved toripalimab-tpzi (Loqtorz) with cisplatin and gemcitabine for the first-line treatment of adults with metastatic or recurrent locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma. The FDA also approved toripalimab-tpzi as a single agent for...

Head and Neck Cancer
Supportive Care

Yoga-Based Supportive Care May Prevent Treatment-Related Complications in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Yoga-based supportive care may help alleviate the negative side effects of radiation treatment, decrease the use of feeding tube placements, and reduce emergency department visits in patients with head and neck cancer, especially when family caregivers participate, according to new findings...

Head and Neck Cancer

Addition of Lapatinib to Chemoradiotherapy in Non–HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase II trial (RTOG 3501, TRYHARD) reported in JAMA Oncology, Wong et al found that the addition of lapatinib to chemoradiotherapy with cisplatin did not appear to improve progression-free survival in front-line therapy for stage III to IV non–human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck...

Head and Neck Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Hypofractionated Radiotherapy May Reduce Burden of Head and Neck Cancer in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Fewer and higher doses of radiation may be effective at treating patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, according to new findings presented by Bentzen et al at the 2023 American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) Annual Meeting (Abstract LBA 02). Background Head and neck squamous...

Head and Neck Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Oral Health May Be Linked to Survival in Patients With Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Investigators have revealed that oral health may be associated with survival in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, according to a novel study published by Tasoulas et al in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Background While survival has improved during the past decades ...

Head and Neck Cancer
Genomics/Genetics

Personalized Biomarker-Based Umbrella Trial in Recurrent or Metastatic HNSCC

In a Korean phase II trial (KCSG HN 15-16 TRIUMPH) reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Keam et al described results of a personalized biomarker-driven umbrella trial for the treatment of patients with platinum-refractory recurrent and/or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma...

Head and Neck Cancer

Dysphagia-Optimized vs Standard IMRT in Newly Diagnosed Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

In the phase III DARS study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Nutting et al found that dysphagia-optimized intensity-modulated radiotherapy (DO-IMRT) was associated with improved patient-reported swallowing function vs standard IMRT in newly diagnosed patients with head and neck cancer. Study...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Priyanka Bhateja, MD

Head and neck cancer specialist Priyanka Bhateja, MD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, was encouraged by the findings of the Quarterback trial. As she noted in her comments for The ASCO Post, human papillomavirus...

Head and Neck Cancer

Quarterback Trial: De-escalation of Chemoradiotherapy for Subset of Patients With HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer

De-escalation of chemoradiotherapy after induction chemotherapy yields excellent oncologic outcomes in patients with high-risk oropharyngeal cancer associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Results of the nonrandomized phase II Quarterback trial suggest that this subset of patients may be...

Head and Neck Cancer

Study Finds Durvalumab Plus Carboplatin and Paclitaxel Effective, Tolerable in Frail Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

As a first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, the PD-L1 inhibitor durvalumab plus weekly carboplatin and paclitaxel provided clinically significant efficacy in the phase II FRAIL-IMMUNE (GORTEC 2018-03) trial.1 This regimen may prove to be an effective...

Head and Neck Cancer

For Advanced Nasopharyngeal Cancer, Adjuvant Gemcitabine Plus Cisplatin Favored Over Fluorouracil Plus Cisplatin, Study Reports

In patients with N2 and N3 nasopharyngeal carcinoma, adjuvant treatment with concurrent gemcitabine and cisplatin significantly improved progression-free survival, with acceptable toxicity, over fluorouracil plus cisplatin, according to a phase III trial reported from Sun Yat-sen University Cancer...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Nabil F. Saba, MD, FACP, and Jennifer Choe, MD, PhD

Nabil F. Saba, MD, FACP, Professor and Vice Chair of Hematology and Medical Oncology, the Lynne and Howard Halpern Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Research, and Director of the HNCA Medical Oncology Program at the Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, was invited to discuss the...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Barbara Burtness, MD

Barbara Burtness, MD, the Anthony N. Brady Professor of Medicine and Chief Translational Research Officer at Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, featured the CONTINUUM study at the head and neck cancer session on Highlights of the Day during the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting. She noted the study’s premise...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

CONTINUUM: In Locally Advanced Nasopharyngeal Cancer, Addition of Sintilimab to Chemoradiotherapy Offers Benefit

The addition of the PD-1 inhibitor sintilimab to standard induction chemotherapy and chemoradiotherapy resulted in a significant improvement in 3-year event-free survival, a manageable safety profile, and comparable quality of life in high-risk, locally advanced nasopharyngeal carcinoma vs standard ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck Cancers 2022–2023 Almanac

Head and neck cancers comprise approximately 4% of all new cancer diagnoses globally and represent approximately 110,000 new cancer diagnoses and 17,000 cancer deaths annually in the United States. Head and neck cancers are a heterogenous group of malignancies where prognosis and treatment varies...

Head and Neck Cancer

First-in-Class Agent Given With Chemoradiotherapy Improves Survival in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer, Study Finds

The first-in-class agent xevinapant (also known as Debio 1143), given with chemotherapy and radiotherapy, significantly improved overall survival in a phase II study of 96 patients with locally advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.1 “This is the first study in decades to improve...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Erminia Massarelli, MD, PhD, MS

The invited discussant of the VERSATILE-002 and CUE-101-01 trials, Erminia Massarelli, MD, PhD, MS, said both are examples of a growing interest in evaluating immunotherapeutic strategies and treatment sequences in early-stage head and neck squamous cell cancer as well as in metastatic disease. Dr. ...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Novel HPV-Targeted Agents Boost Efficacy of Pembrolizumab in Head and Neck Cancer, Two Studies Show

Immunotherapeutics that target human papillomavirus (HPV) genotype 16 appear to boost the activity of pembrolizumab in advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Two examples were presented in posters at the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting.1,2 The phase II VERSATILE-002 trial evaluated PDS0101,...

Head and Neck Cancer

First-in-Class Bifunctional Antibody Plus Pembrolizumab Shows Activity in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The first-in-class bifunctional antibody BCA101—which inhibits both the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β)—given with the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab, is showing activity and tolerability in recurrent or metastatic head and neck...

Head and Neck Cancer

Could Fluorouracil-Free First-Line Regimen Challenge the Standard of Care in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer?

In patients with relapsed or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, a regimen of the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab plus carboplatin and paclitaxel, evaluated in the phase IV KEYNOTE-B10 trial, demonstrated antitumor activity, with a good safety profile, investigators reported ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Cabozantinib Plus Atezolizumab Warrants Further Study in Treatment of Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

A challenging patient population with advanced head and neck cancer may have a new treatment option, according to data presented during the 2022 Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) Annual Meeting.1 Results from Cohort 17 of the COSMIC-021 study showed that the combination of the kinase...

Head and Neck Cancer

Pembrolizumab Plus Chemoradiation Therapy Falls Short in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

Pembrolizumab plus chemoradiation therapy failed to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in event-free survival vs chemoradiation therapy alone in patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, but favorable numerical trends were demonstrated, according to...

Head and Neck Cancer

Can an Anti-EBV Antibody Assist in Screening for Nasopharyngeal Cancer?

In a Chinese study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Li et al found evidence that the anti–Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) anti-BNLF2b total antibody, P85-Ab, may be a promising biomarker for nasopharyngeal cancer screening. Study Details In the study, a peptide library representing highly...

Head and Neck Cancer

First-in-Class Bifunctional Antibody Plus Pembrolizumab Shows Activity in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The first-in-class bifunctional antibody BCA101—which inhibits both the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β)—given with the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab, is showing activity and tolerability in recurrent or metastatic head and neck...

Head and Neck Cancer
Gynecologic Cancers

Efficacy of the 9-Valent HPV Vaccine: 10-Year Follow-up

New 10-year follow-up data were published by Restrepo et al in Pediatrics on girls and boys who received a three-dose regimen of the 9-valent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine between the ages of 9 and 15. The long-term follow-up study was conducted from 2009 through 2021 across 13 countries and 5 ...

Head and Neck Cancer
Supportive Care

AI-Driven Muscle Mass Assessment May Aid in Detecting Sarcopenia in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Researchers have found a way to use artificial intelligence (AI) to diagnose sarcopenia in patients with head and neck cancer. The tool may be used to improve treatment and supportive care for patients, according to a report published by Ye et al in JAMA Network Open. “Sarcopenia is an indicator...

Head and Neck Cancer

EBV-Based Screening Methods for Identifying Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In a Taiwanese study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Lou et al compared two methods of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) screening to identify nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Study Details Blood samples were obtained from 819 incident Taiwanese nasopharyngeal carcinoma cases (including 213 cases of...

Head and Neck Cancer

For Advanced Nasopharyngeal Cancer, Adjuvant Gemcitabine Plus Cisplatin Favored Over Fluorouracil Plus Cisplatin, Study Reports

In patients with N2 and N3 nasopharyngeal carcinoma, adjuvant treatment with concurrent gemcitabine and cisplatin significantly improved progression-free survival, with acceptable toxicity, over fluorouracil plus cisplatin, according to a phase III trial reported from Sun Yat-sen University Cancer...

Head and Neck Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Researchers May Have Uncovered Two New Subtypes of HPV-Positive Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinomas

Human papillomavirus (HPV)–positive head and neck squamous cell carcinomas can be divided into two distinct subtypes that may help determine how well patients will respond to therapy, according to a novel study published by Schrank et al in PNAS. The findings also identified a new mechanism of HPV...

Head and Neck Cancer

Study Finds Durvalumab Plus Carboplatin and Paclitaxel Effective, Tolerable in Frail Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

As a first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, the PD-L1 inhibitor durvalumab plus weekly carboplatin and paclitaxel provided clinically significant efficacy in the phase II FRAIL-IMMUNE (GORTEC 2018-03) trial.1 This regimen may prove to be an effective...

Head and Neck Cancer

Early-Phase Study Reports Activity of Cabozantinib and Cetuximab Combination in Refractory Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase I study from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK), New York, the combination of cabozantinib and cetuximab showed antitumor efficacy in heavily pretreated patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell cancer.1 Antoine Desilets, MD, an advanced oncology fellow ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Investigators Evaluate the Effect of Body Mass Index on Outcomes in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Investigators reported that patients with head and neck cancer who had an overweight body mass index (BMI) may have had better outcomes, longer overall and progression-free survival, and lower rates of locoregional failure than those patients with a normal or obese BMI, according to a recent study...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Nabil F. Saba, MD, FACP, and Jennifer Choe, MD, PhD

Nabil F. Saba, MD, FACP, Professor and Vice Chair of Hematology and Medical Oncology, the Lynne and Howard Halpern Chair in Head and Neck Cancer Research, and Director of the HNCA Medical Oncology Program at the Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta, was invited to discuss the...

Head and Neck Cancer

JUPITER-02: Toripalimab Plus Chemotherapy Improved Survival Outcomes for Some Patients With Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In the final overall survival analysis of the phase III JUPITER-02 trial, first-line treatment with toripalimab plus gemcitabine and cisplatin resulted in a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in overall survival and progression-free survival vs chemotherapy alone in...

Head and Neck Cancer

Dysphagia-Optimized vs Standard IMRT in Newly Diagnosed Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

In the phase III DARS study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Nutting et al found that dysphagia-optimized intensity-modulated radiotherapy (DO-IMRT) was associated with improved patient-reported swallowing function vs standard IMRT in newly diagnosed patients with head and neck cancer. Study...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Priyanka Bhateja, MD

Head and neck cancer specialist Priyanka Bhateja, MD, Assistant Professor in the Division of Medical Oncology, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, was encouraged by the findings of the Quarterback trial. As she noted in her comments for The ASCO Post, human papillomavirus...

Head and Neck Cancer

Quarterback Trial: De-escalation of Chemoradiotherapy for Subset of Patients With HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer

De-escalation of chemoradiotherapy after induction chemotherapy yields excellent oncologic outcomes in patients with high-risk oropharyngeal cancer associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV). Results of the nonrandomized phase II Quarterback trial suggest that this subset of patients may be...

Head and Neck Cancer

Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, MD: From Migrant Farm Worker to Neurosurgeon in Search of a Cure for Brain Cancer

In this installment of The ASCO Post’s Living a Full Life series, guest editor Jame Abraham, MD, FACP, spoke with neurosurgeon Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, MD, FAANS, FACS, the James C. and Sarah K. Kennedy Dean of Research, Monica Flynn Jacoby Chair of Neurologic Surgery, and William J. and Charles...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Barbara Burtness, MD

Barbara Burtness, MD, the Anthony N. Brady Professor of Medicine and Chief Translational Research Officer at Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, featured the CONTINUUM study at the head and neck cancer session on Highlights of the Day during the 2023 ASCO Annual Meeting. She noted the study’s premise...

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