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Head and Neck Cancer

Proton Therapy Associated With Fewer Sequelae in the Treatment of Head and Neck Cancer

Radiation oncology is vital to the management of patients with cancer of the head and neck, and for certain patients, proton therapy may offer significant benefit over intensity-modulated radiation therapy, according to Walter J. Curran, MD, Executive Director of the Winship Cancer Institute of...

Head and Neck Cancer

Targeted Therapy in the Age of Immunotherapy in Head and Neck Cancer

The impact of targeted therapies in head and neck cancer has been limited, but we can strategize to integrate the development of targeted and immunotherapeutic agents, according to Christine H. Chung, MD, Senior Member and Chair in the Department of Head and Neck-Endocrine Oncology at Moffitt...

Head and Neck Cancer

New Horizons in Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer

Immunotherapy is a new treatment paradigm in recurrent metastatic head and neck cancer, according to Nabil F. Saba, MD. At a symposium hosted by the Winship Cancer Institute and Emory University—Updates in the Management of Head and Neck Cancer—Dr. Saba discussed current research and new...

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, on HPV and the Value of the Vaccine

Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, discusses her findings on the impact of prophylactic human papillomavirus vaccination on oral HPV infections among young adults in the United States. (Abstract 6003)

Head and Neck Cancer

Waun Ki Hong, MD, FACP, Helped Change the Standard of Care in Laryngeal Cancer, Now Focuses on Chemoprevention and Precision Medicine

Waun Ki Hong, MD, FACP, one of the nation’s leading experts in head and neck and lung cancers, was born in South Korea and grew up in a tiny village outside the nation’s capital of Seoul. Number six of seven siblings, Dr. Hong described his early life in the cozy village as blissful, until the...

head and neck cancer

Complications From Thyroid Cancer Surgery More Common Than Once Thought

As thyroid cancer rates rise, more patients are having surgery to remove all or part of their thyroid. A new study by Papaleontiou et al in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests complications from these procedures are more common than previously believed. Overall, 6.5% of ...

Head and Neck Cancer

European Commission Approves Nivolumab for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Progressing After Platinum Therapy

On April 28, 2017, the European Commission approved nivolumab (Opdivo) as monotherapy for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) in adults with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy. Nivolumab is the first and only immuno-oncology treatment that has...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Denise A. Galloway, PhD

Denise A. Galloway, PhD, Associate Director, Human Biology Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, whose research focus is human papillomavirus (HPV), told The ASCO Post that these findings provide new data for the field. “I can’t think of a large study of oral HPV infection in...

Head and Neck Cancer

Rates of Oral HPV Infection Plummet After Vaccination

Vaccination against the human papillomavirus (HPV) reduced the risk of acquiring oral HPV infections by 88%, in one of the first large studies to explore vaccination’s impact in the oropharynx. The study will be presented at the 2017 ASCO Annual Meeting, and the findings were released in advance of ...

head and neck cancer

USPSTF Recommendation on Screening for Thyroid Cancer

As reported in JAMA, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has recommended against thyroid cancer screening in asymptomatic individuals. The current USPSTF statement is an update of a 1996 USPSTF recommendation statement. The recommendation was based on task force review of evidence on...

head and neck cancer

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

According to a study by Skinner et al, 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 cell carcinoma is sensitive to radiation, HPV-negative tumors are...

head and neck cancer

European Commission Approves Nivolumab for Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Progressing on or After Platinum-Based Therapy

On April 28, the European Commission approved nivolumab (Opdivo) as monotherapy for the treatment of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) in adults with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy. Nivolumab is the first and only immuno-oncology treatment that has...

head and neck cancer

Reduced-Dose Radiotherapy for HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Carcinoma

A phase II trial conducted at the University of California at Davis and at Los Angeles showed good outcomes with reduced-dose radiotherapy in patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. These findings were reported in The Lancet Oncology by Chen et al....

head and neck cancer

Higher Rates of Bone Metastases and Increased Risk of Death in Follicular and Medullary Thyroid Cancer

In the largest-known study on bone metastases in thyroid cancer, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that patients with follicular and medullary thyroid cancer had the highest rate of cancer-related bone lesions and fractures and an increased risk of death....

Head and Neck Cancer

Addition of Buparlisib to Paclitaxel in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In the phase II BERIL-1 trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Soulières et al found that adding the pan-PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) inhibitor buparlisib to paclitaxel improved outcomes in patients with platinum-pretreated recurrent metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck....

Head and Neck Cancer

Better Vision Function May Be Related to Better Quality of Life in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

Better vision function seems to be related to better quality of life after treatment for head and neck cancer, particularly among patients who have had surgery, according to Hsiao-Lan Wang, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at the University of South Florida. Head and neck...

Head and Neck Cancer

Deintensifiying Treatment of HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer Could Reduce Toxicity While Maintaining Function and Survival

“The status quo for HPV [human papillomavirus]-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma is not sufficient.… Our treatment is effective, but the toxicity associated with it is not tolerable.” And HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer “is a cancer of relatively younger patients,” said Nishant...

head and neck cancer

New ASTRO Guideline Establishes Standard of Care for Curative Treatment of Oropharyngeal Cancer With Radiation Therapy

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has issued a new clinical guideline for the management of oropharyngeal cancer. The guideline, “Radiation therapy for oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma: An ASTRO Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline,” was published by Sher et ...

head and neck cancer

Trends in Thyroid Cancer Incidence and Mortality in the United States

In a study of Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-9 (SEER-9) data reported in JAMA, Lim et al found that both thyroid cancer incidence and mortality have increased over recent decades, reflecting increases in papillary thyroid cancer incidence and mortality. These findings suggest that the...

head and neck cancer

Pembrolizumab 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. Results of the trial were reported by Bauml et al in the Journal of Clinical Oncology....

head and neck cancer

David G. Pfister, MD, on HPV and Head and Neck Cancer

David G. Pfister, MD, of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the link between human papillomavirus and oropharyngeal cancers and what is known about the effect of HPV on treatment response and outcome.

head and neck cancer

Delays in Radiotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer in Insured and Indigent Populations

In a study reported in the Journal of Oncology Practice, Thomas et al found that interruption of radiotherapy for head and neck cancer was more frequent and treatment outcomes were poorer among indigent populations vs commercially or Medicare-insured populations within a single academic health...

Head and Neck Cancer

Developing Better Multidisciplinary Strategies

“More than any other disease, head and neck cancer requires constant interplay between a number of different specialties,”  Sandeep Samant, MD, Chief, Head and Neck Surgery, Northwestern Medicine, and Chair of the Multidisciplinary Head & Neck Symposium sponsored by the Robert H. Lurie...

Head and Neck Cancer

Making the Case for Sentinel Node Biopsy in Early Cancers of the Oral Cavity

“The majority of patients with oral cavity cancers will undergo an unnecessary operation,” ­Sandeep Samant, MD, stated at a session on managing N0 neck cancer at the 2016 Lurie Cancer Center Multidisciplinary Head & Neck Symposium in Chicago.1 That operation is elective neck dissection, and it ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Cornelius J.M. Melief, MD, PhD

Cornelius J.M. Melief, MD, PhD, Emeritus Professor at Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands and Chief Scientific Officer at ISA Pharmaceuticals, noted that toll-like receptors (TLRs) are useful in promoting immune activation in a variety of leukocytes and that the signaling pathways...

Head and Neck Cancer

Novel Immunotherapy Added to Standard Care Did Not Meet Endpoint in Patients With Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In the phase II Active8 trial, a novel immunotherapy agent, motolimod, failed to improve outcomes over chemotherapy plus cetuximab (Erbitux) in patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. In a post hoc analysis, however, patients with injection-site...

Head and Neck Cancer

Immunotherapy for Head and Neck Cancer: ‘The Fourth Modality Has Arrived’

“This is a big deal. This is going to change all of oncology, not just head and neck cancer,”1 Tanguy ­Seiwert, MD, remarked following a summary by Jeffrey Sosman, MD, on advances in immunotherapy for treating cancer.2 Dr. Sosman, Director of the Melanoma Program and Clinical Director of Cancer...

head and neck cancer

ASCO Endorses ACS Head and Neck Cancer Survivorship Care Guideline

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Larissa Nekhlyudov, MD, MPH, of Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, ASCO has endorsed the 2016 American Cancer Society (ACS) guideline on head and neck cancer survivorship care. The endorsement was based on ...

head and neck cancer

Effect of Adjuvant Chemoradiotherapy in Resected Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In a study of National Cancer Database data reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Trifiletti et al found that adjuvant chemoradiotherapy was associated with a survival benefit in patients with resected locally advanced head and neck cancer with negative surgical margins and no extracapsular ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Philip Poortmans, MD, PhD

Philip Poortmans, MD, PhD, President-Elect of the European CanCer Organisation (ECCO) and Head of the Radiation Oncology Department at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, commented: “This research provides good evidence for the benefits of treating advanced-stage head...

Head and Neck Cancer

Twice-Daily Radiation Therapy May Reduce Mortality in Head/Neck Cancer

Treating patients with head and neck cancer with hyperfractionated twice-daily radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy may potentially reduce mortality, according to new research presented by Claire Petit, PhD, and colleagues at the 2017 European Cancer Congress (ECCO).1 The study included...

head and neck cancer
lymphoma
gastrointestinal cancer

Protein Component of the Epstein-Barr Virus May Promote the Development of Cancer

After an infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the virus persists in the body throughout a person's lifetime, usually without causing any symptoms. About one-third of infected teenagers and young adults nevertheless develop infectious mononucleosis, which usually wears off after a few weeks. ...

head and neck cancer

Clinical Trial Explores Ability of Genetic Test to Guide Surgical Management of Thyroid Cancer

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine scientists and doctors are embarking on the first clinical trial to determine if a genetic test they pioneered could successfully spare patients with nonaggressive thyroid cancer from complete removal of their thyroid. Thyroid-preserving surgery minimizes ...

head and neck cancer

Adding Buparlisib to Paclitaxel in Platinum-Pretreated Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In the phase II BERIL-1 trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Soulières et al found that adding the pan-PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) inhibitor buparlisib to paclitaxel improved outcomes in patients with platinum-pretreated recurrent metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and ...

head and neck cancer

ECCO 2017: Twice-Daily Radiation Therapy May Reduce Mortality in Head and Neck Cancer

Treating patients with head and neck cancer with hyperfractionated twice-daily radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy could potentially reduce mortality, according to new research presented by Petit et al at the 2017 European Cancer Congress (ECCO) (Abstract 823). The study, led by Claire...

Head and Neck Cancer

Vanderbilt Study to Explore Lymphedema Self-Care for Head and Neck Cancer Survivors

Vanderbilt University School of Nursing Assistant Professor Jie Deng, PhD, RN, has been awarded a $789,000 research scholar grant by the American Cancer Society to develop and test a self-care program for head and neck cancer survivors diagnosed with secondary lymphedema/fibrosis....

head and neck cancer

Survivorship Symposium 2017: Younger Survivors of Thyroid Cancer Face Increased Risk of Hypertension, Heart Disease, and Osteoporosis

According to the American Cancer Society, in the United States, thyroid cancer is the most rapidly increasing cancer, tripling in the past 3 decades, and is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. A study by Blackburn et al examining whether survivors of thyroid cancer...

Head and Neck Cancer

Nivolumab in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck in CheckMate 141: Game Not Over

Most patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck present with locally advanced disease. With combined-modality approaches, the chance of cure ranges from < 50% to up to 80%, depending on the site, stage, and other risk factors, such as human papillomavirus (HPV) status. When...

Head and Neck Cancer

Nivolumab Improves Overall Survival in Recurrent Platinum-Refractory Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In the phase III CheckMate 141 trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Cancer Institute, and colleagues found that nivolumab (Opdivo) increased overall survival vs standard therapies in patients with...

head and neck cancer

Similar Survival With Surgery and Chemoradiotherapy in HPV-Negative Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Cancer

In an observational study reported in JAMA Oncology, Kelly et al found that overall survival was similar with upfront surgery and definitive chemoradiotherapy among patients with newly diagnosed cT1–2 N1–2b human papillomavirus (HPV)-negative oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma....

head and neck cancer
gastroesophageal cancer

TCGA Study of Esophageal Cancers Finds Features That Aid in Their Classification

A new integrated genomic study by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network identified genetic alterations that distinguish the two most common subtypes of esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is a rare cancer in the United States, but the 8th most frequently diagnosed cancer worldwide. It...

breast cancer
head and neck cancer
lung cancer

Receptor Tyrosine Kinase AXL May Mediate Nuclear Translocation of EGFR

New research from the University of Wisconsin (UW) Carbone Cancer Center has clarified the mechanisms involved in a common growth pathway implicated in many solid tumor types and could lead to better outcomes for patients with head and neck, lung, and triple-negative breast cancer,...

head and neck cancer

ESMO Asia 2016: Asian Patients With Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma Live Longer With Immunotherapy Than Overall Population

Asian patients with head and neck cancer live longer with pembrolizumab (Keytruda) immunotherapy than the overall population, according to a subanalysis of the KEYNOTE-012 trial presented at the ESMO Asia 2016 Congress in Singapore. “Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is the seventh most...

head and neck cancer

Addition of Adjuvant Chemotherapy to Chemoradiotherapy Achieves Best Survival Results in Locally Advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In an individual patient-data meta-analysis reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Ribassin-Majed et al in the Meta-analysis of Chemotherapy in Nasopharyngeal Collaborative Group found that the addition of adjuvant chemotherapy to chemoradiotherapy was associated with the greatest overall...

Head and Neck Cancer

Characteristics of HPV-Driven Nonoropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinomas of the Head and Neck

In a study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Chakravarthy et al found that human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven tumors accounted for 4.1% of nonoropharyngeal squamous cell carcinomas of the head and neck. HPV-positive tumors were associated with poorer survival and reduced...

Head and Neck Cancer

Nivolumab in Recurrent or Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

On November 10, 2016, nivolu­mab (Opdivo) was approved for treatment of recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with disease progression on or after platinum-based therapy.1,2 Supporting Efficacy Data Approval was based on the finding of an overall survival advantage...

Head and Neck Cancer

FDA Approves Nivolumab for the Treatment of Recurrent/Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

On November 10, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with disease progression on or after a platinum-based therapy. Approval was based on data from an...

head and neck cancer

SITC 2016: Interim Phase I/II Data Show Encouraging Clinical Benefit for Lirilumab in Combination With Nivolumab in Head and Neck Cancer

An interim efficacy analysis from a phase I/II study of the combination of lirilumab and nivolumab (Opdivo) in the cohort of advanced platinum refractory squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, including exploratory biomarker analyses of patient response by level of programmed death ligand 1...

head and neck cancer

FDA Approves Nivolumab for the Treatment of Recurrent/Metastatic Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

On November 10, 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved nivolumab (Opdivo) for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck with disease progression on or after a platinum-based therapy. Approval was based on data from an...

Head and Neck Cancer

Better Quality of Life Reported in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer Receiving Nivolumab vs Chemotherapy

Standard treatment for advanced head and neck cancer—including chemotherapy and radiation—causes painful side effects that impair quality of life, as well as the ability to socialize and engage in daily life activities. A new study of patients with platinum-refractory recurrent, metastatic head...

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