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Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

HPV-Related Cancers Like Mine Are Avoidable, So Why Aren’t More Kids Being Vaccinated?

The latest news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about vaccination rates in the United States for human papillomavirus (HPV) is disappointing. It shows that in 2016, just 43.4% of adolescents (49.5% of females and 37.5% of males) were up-to-date with the recommended 3-dose HPV...

Issues in Oncology
Survivorship
Head and Neck Cancer

Elevated Suicide Risk Among Head and Neck Cancer Survivors Demands More Integrated Psychosocial Care

In general, the risk of suicide among cancer survivors is about 50% higher than in the general population, but this risk is especially elevated among survivors of head and neck cancer, according to research presented by Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, BDS, MPH, CHES, of the Department of...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Lower-Dose Radiation in HPV-Positive Head and Neck Cancers After Induction Chemotherapy

The results of a phase II clinical trial suggest that patients with head and neck cancers associated with the human papillomavirus (HPV) may receive significantly lower doses of radiation safely and effectively after response to induction chemotherapy.1 These findings from the OPTIMA study,...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Young Jun Kim, MD, PhD

YOUNG JUN KIM, MD, PhD, Co-Leader of the Translational Research and Interventional Oncology Research Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, in Nashville, called the research “very important work.”  “This is very close to clinical relevance because no special test is required right now,” said...

Head and Neck Cancer

Intratumor Heterogeneity of Head and Neck Cancers May Have Therapeutic Implications

A RETROSPECTIVE STUDY of The Cancer Genome Atlas may have therapy-specific implications for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, according to data presented at the 2018 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium.1 This first analysis of the relationship between intratumor...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Panitumumab-Based Contrast Agent May Enhance Head and Neck Cancer Surgery

AN OPTICAL CONTRAST agent composed of panitumumab (Vectibix), a humanized anti–epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody, conjugated to the near-infrared fluorescent dye IRDye800, may aid in the real-time detection and surgical resection of squamous cell carcinoma, according to...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Young Jun Kim, MD, PhD

YOUNG JUN KIM, MD, PhD, Co-Leader of the Translational Research and Interventional Oncology Research Program at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center in Nashville, was more guarded in his interpretation of the data, particularly focusing on the lack of clinical improvement in the combination cohort that ...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Phase II Study Shows Durvalumab Active in Patients With Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer

IN A POPULATION of heavily pretreated patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer and low or negative programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, durvalumab (Imfinzi) monotherapy demonstrated an overall response rate of 9.2%, consistent with that of single-agent programmed...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Francis P. Worden, MD

THE MODERATOR of the session, Francis P. Worden, MD, a medical oncologist at the University of Michigan Health System Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor, called the study thought-provoking despite its retrospective nature.  “The data from this study are thought provoking,” said Dr. Worden....

Head and Neck Cancer

Delays in Radiation Therapy After Surgery for Head and Neck Cancer Linked to Decreased Survival

DELAYS IN RADIATION THERAPY after surgery for head and neck cancer were associated with decreased survival in a large population of U.S. patients, according to data presented at the 2018 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium and reported online recently in JAMA Otolaryngology Head & ...

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...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Cabozantinib Therapy Shows Activity in Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

Cabozantinib (Cometriq) has demonstrated significant activity in the first-line setting for radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid carcinoma, according to data from a single-site phase II trial presented at the 2018 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium.1 Treatment with...

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

ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Use of Larynx-Preservation Strategies in the Treatment of Laryngeal Cancer

AS REPORTED in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Arlene A. Forastiere, MD, of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, ASCO has issued a clinical practice guideline update on the use of larynx-preservation strategies in the treatment of laryngeal cancer.1...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Laryngeal Preservation: All Patients Need a Voice

Following the publication of two landmark studies in the United States,1,2 laryngeal preservation with combined chemoradiotherapy has become standard practice as opposed to laryngectomy for patients with locally advanced laryngeal cancer. The Department of Veterans Affairs Laryngeal Cancer Study...

Head and Neck Cancer

Plasma Epstein-Barr Virus DNA Screening for Nasopharyngeal Cancer

In a Hong Kong study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, K.C. Allen Chan, MBBS, PhD, MRCP, FRCPA, FHKCPath, FHMAM, of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Chemical Pathology, and colleagues found that screening for circulating cell-free Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA is...

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...

head and neck cancer

CAP Guideline Details HPV Testing in Head and Neck Carcinomas

Patients with certain head and neck cancers who test positive for high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) have a better prognosis and may need less aggressive treatment. To help ensure that patients with these cancers are accurately diagnosed and effectively treated, the College of...

head and neck cancer

Comparison of Chemoradiation Treatment Schedules in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In an Indian phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Noronha and colleagues found that curative-intent adjuvant chemoradiotherapy with cisplatin at 100 mg/m2 every 3 weeks produced better locoregional control than cisplatin at 30 mg/m2 every week in patients with locally...

head and neck cancer
leukemia

Radioiodine Treatment of Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer and Hematologic Malignancy Risk

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Molenaar et al found that radioiodine treatment for well-differentiated thyroid cancer was associated with an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) compared with thyroidectomy alone. Study Details ...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Helping Patients With Head and Neck Cancer and Their Caregivers Face Treatment-Associated Challenges

Head and neck cancer remains one of the most challenging clinical presentations faced by the oncology community. Patients must not only face a potentially lethal disease, but must also cope with treatments that often result in significant side effects. To gain a better understanding on the...

head and neck cancer

Number of Metastatic Lymph Nodes and Survival in Hypopharyngeal/Laryngeal Cancer

A study using National Cancer Database data has shown that the number of metastatic nodes is a primary independent factor associated with an increased mortality risk in patients with hypopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers. The study was reported in JAMA Oncology by Ho et al. Study Details The study ...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Radiotherapy Fractionation for Head and Neck Cancers

An update of the Meta-Analysis of Radiotherapy in Squamous Cell Carcinomas of Head and Neck (MARCH) showed that hyperfractionated radiotherapy maintained a survival advantage over conventional radiotherapy in head and neck cancers. The findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by Lacas et al....

head and neck cancer

ASCO Clinical Practice Guideline Update: Use of Larynx-Preservation Strategies in the Treatment of Laryngeal Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Arlene A. Forastiere, MD, of The Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, ASCO has issued a clinical practice guideline update on the use of larynx-preservation strategies in the treatment of laryngeal cancer. The ...

head and neck cancer

Combination Therapy for Advanced BRAF V600–Mutant Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer

A phase II study reported by Subbiah et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology indicates activity of the combination of dabrafenib (Tafinlar) plus trametinib (Mekinist) in patients with locally advanced or metastatic BRAF V600–mutant anaplastic thyroid cancer. Study Details In the study,...

Head and Neck Cancer

EXPERT POINT OF VIEW: Sandrine Faivre, MD, PhD

Commenting on these study results, formal discussant Sandrine Faivre, MD, PhD, of Bichat-Beaujon University Hospitals Paris Nord Val de Seine, Paris, France, said: “It is a challenge to identify patients who we should allow to remain on immune checkpoint inhibitor treatment. In KEYNOTE-040, the...

Head and Neck Cancer

Pembrolizumab Benefits Patients With Recurrent Metastatic Head and Neck Cancer, Mainly High PD-L1–Expressing Tumors

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) may be a better choice than standard of care for patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, especially those whose tumors express programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) in 50% or more of cells, suggest results of the phase III KEYNOTE-040...

head and neck cancer

ASCO Endorses ASTRO Guideline on Radiation Therapy for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Harry Quon, MD, of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and colleagues, ASCO has endorsed the recently published American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) evidence-based clinical practice guideline on radiation therapy for...

head and neck cancer

AACR-NCI-EORTC: Tipifarnib Shows Durable Antitumor Activity in HRAS-Mutant Head and Neck Cancer

Preliminary results from a phase II open-label trial of tipifarnib, a farnesyltransferase inhibitor, in patients with HRAS-mutant head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) were presented by Alan L. Ho, MD, PhD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, at the AACR-NCI-EORTC International...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Paul Harari, MD

COMMENTING ON THIS STUDY, ASTRO President Paul Harari, MD, was enthusiastic about the results. Dr. Harari is the Jack Fowler Professor and Chairman of the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Associate Director of the University of...

Head and Neck Cancer

Cutting Radiation Exposure by 50% Appears Safe and Effective in HPV-Positive Head and Neck Cancer

AGGRESSIVE REDUCTION in radiation therapy appears to be a potential win-win situation for patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma, according to the results of a phase II trial presented at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Society for...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer
Gastroesophageal Cancer

Addition of Cetuximab to Concurrent Chemoradiation in Esophageal Cancer

The phase III NRG Oncology RTOG 0436 trial has shown no survival benefit of adding cetuximab (Erbitux) to paclitaxel/cisplatin and radiation therapy in patients with esophageal cancer treated without surgery. These results were reported by Mohan Suntharalingam, MD, MBA, of the Marlene and Stewart...

head and neck cancer

Bhishamjit S. Chera, MD, on Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and HPV-16: Expert Perspective

Bhishamjit S. Chera, MD, of the University of North Carolina, discusses quantification of human papillomavirus 16 in circulating tumor DNA during de-intensified chemoradiation therapy for favorable-risk HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (Presentation 92).

head and neck cancer

ASTRO 2017: Aggressively Reduced Radiation Therapy May Benefit Some Patients With HPV-Related Throat Cancer

For certain patients with oropharyngeal cancer caused by the human papillomavirus (HPV), an aggressive reduction of radiation therapy after surgery may provide cancer control while simultaneously reducing post-treatment side effects, improving quality of life, and lowering treatment costs,...

head and neck cancer

ESMO 2017: KEYNOTE-040 Evaluates Pembrolizumab in Head and Neck Cancer

Immunotherapy with the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) may be a better option than standard treatments for patients whose head and neck cancer has spread or recurred after an initial round of chemotherapy, according to results of the KEYNOTE-040 trial presented at the European Society ...

head and neck cancer

Pembrolizumab in PD-L1–Positive Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

As reported by Hsu et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) has shown activity in programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1)–positive recurrent or metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma, in a cohort of the phase Ib KEYNOTE-028 trial. Study Details In the study, 27...

head and neck cancer

Robert I. Haddad, MD, on Head and Neck Cancer: Results of the CheckMate 141 Trial

Robert I. Haddad, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discusses phase III study results on treatment beyond disease progression with nivolumab in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (Abstract 1043O).

head and neck cancer

Cabozantinib Salvage Therapy in Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor–Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

A phase II study has shown that cabozantinib (Cometriq) produces responses in patients with tyrosine kinase inhibitor–refractory differentiated thyroid cancer. The findings were reported by Cabanillas et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. MET plays a role in vascular endothelial growth...

Head and Neck Cancer

Cancer Has Robbed Me of a Life I Loved

I always knew cancer was a real possibility for me. Both my mother and father died of the disease—my mother of lung cancer and my father of bone cancer—so when I started having chronic throat and chest infections, I was diligent about seeking immediate medical attention and felt relieved each time ...

head and neck cancer

Medical Costs and HPV Vaccination in Oropharyngeal Cancer

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cancers, including oropharyngeal, vulvar, cervical, vaginal, penile, anal, and rectal cancers, have increased in recent years, with oropharyngeal cancer the most common HPV-related cancer—from 2008 ...

Head and Neck Cancer
Solid Tumors

PD-L1 Expression and Radiation Resistance in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

According to a study by Heath D. Skinner, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and colleagues, the primary cause of death in patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is local treatment failure. Although human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck squamous ...

head and neck cancer

Plasma Epstein-Barr Virus DNA Screening for Nasopharyngeal Cancer

In a Hong Kong study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Chan et al found that screening for circulating cell-free Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA is useful in detecting nasopharyngeal carcinoma in asymptomatic individuals. Study Details In the study, 20,174 participants underwent...

head and neck cancer

Radiotherapy Fractionation for Head and Neck Cancers

An update of the Meta-Analysis of Radiotherapy in Squamous Cell Carcinomas of Head and Neck (MARCH) showed that hyperfractionated radiotherapy maintained a survival advantage over conventional radiotherapy in head and neck cancers. The findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by Lacas et al. A ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Pembrolizumab and Cetuximab-Treated Head and Neck Cancer: Activity Confirmed But No Surprises

WITH THE RECENT efficacy findings, improvements in survival, and resultant U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approvals of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) immune checkpoint inhibitors across multiple solid tumor indications, the publication of yet another positive trial adds to the...

Head and Neck Cancer

Pembrolizumab Is Active in Platinum- and Cetuximab-Refractory Head and Neck Cancer

IN THE PHASE II KEYNOTE-055 trial, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was found to produce durable responses in patients with platinum- and cetuximab (Erbitux)-refractory head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.1 Results of the trial were reported by Joshua Bauml, MD, of the University of Pennsylvania,...

Hematologic Malignancies
Symptom Management
Supportive Care
Head and Neck Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer
Solid Tumors

NCCN Panelists Relay ‘What’s Hot’ in Their Fields

AT THE NATIONAL Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) 22nd Annual Conference, experts from several fields met with journalists to highlight “what’s hot” in their specialties. The ASCO Post captured that conversation.  Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Guidelines  NCCN HAS LAUNCHED new NCCN Clinical...

head and neck cancer

Outcome by Age With Lenvatinib in Radioiodine-Refractory Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Brose et al, a prespecified analysis of the phase III double-blind SELECT trial of lenvatinib (Lenvima) vs placebo in radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer showed progression-free survival benefits in both older and younger...

solid tumors
head and neck cancer

PD-L2 Expression and Clinical Response to Pembrolizumab in Head and Neck Cancer

A study assessing the prevalence and distribution of programmed cell death ligand 2 (PD-L2) in human tumor samples across seven cancer indications, including renal cell carcinoma, bladder, melanoma, non–small cell lung cancer, triple-negative breast cancer, gastric carcinoma, and head and...

Head and Neck Cancer
Survivorship

Optimizing Quality of Life in Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Head and neck cancer can take away a patient’s “right to feel human,” and its impact on physical appearance, physical functioning, and general quality of life can be devastating, according to Merry Sebelik, MD, Associate Professor of Head and Neck Surgery at Emory University in Atlanta. At a...

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