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Head and Neck Cancer

Saliva Test May Play A Role in the Early Detection of HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Cancer

A report by Wang et al in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics described the use of acoustofluidics, a noninvasive method that analyzes saliva for the presence of human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV-16), the pathogenic strain of the disease associated with oropharyngeal cancers. This novel technique...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab vs Cetuximab Plus Chemotherapy in Recurrent or Metastatic Head/Neck Squamous Cell Cancer

As reported in The Lancet by Barbara Burtness, MD, of the Department of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues, the phase III KEYNOTE-048 trial has shown improved overall survival with first-line pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy vs cetuximab plus chemotherapy among patients...

Lung Cancer
Bladder Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Hematologic Malignancies
Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Breast Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

FDA Pipeline: Priority Reviews in SCLC, Bladder Cancer, Colorectal Cancer

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Priority Reviews for treatments in extensive-stage small cell lung cancer (SCLC), non–muscle invasive bladder cancer, and BRAF V600E–mutant colorectal cancer. The Agency also recently issued multiple Breakthrough Therapy designations and ...

Head and Neck Cancer
Integrative Oncology
Symptom Management

Acupuncture May Reduce Radiation-Induced Dry Mouth for Patients With Head and Neck Cancer

After receiving acupuncture treatment 3 days a week during the course of radiation treatment, patients with head and neck cancer experienced less dry mouth, according to study results published by Garcia et al in JAMA Network Open. The results are from the first randomized, placebo-controlled,...

Colorectal Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer
Pancreatic Cancer

Early Research Shows Potential New Targets in Treating Glioblastoma, Colorectal Cancer, and Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma

Glioblastoma multiforme, colorectal cancer, and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma represent some of the most difficult-to-treat cancers and collectively cause more than 114,000 deaths each year in the United States. A trio of recently published basic research studies in these cancers have found...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy for Head/Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma: Questions Raised by KEYNOTE-048

There is a new first-line treatment option for patients with newly diagnosed, recurrent, or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. As reported by Burtness et al in The Lancet, pembrolizumab improved overall survival vs the standard-of-care regimen of cetuximab and platinum-based...

Head and Neck Cancer

PIK3CA Mutation Status and Disease-Free Survival in Patients With HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancer Treated With Deintensified Chemoradiotherapy

In a study reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Beaty et al found that the presence of a PIK3CA mutation was associated with poorer disease-free survival among patients receiving deintensified definitive chemoradiotherapy for human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal...

Head and Neck Cancer

Nivolumab vs Chemotherapy in Advanced Esophageal Cancer

Nivolumab improved overall survival compared with chemotherapy in previously treated patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in the final analysis of the phase III ATTRACTION-3 study. The data were presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019 Presidential...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab With or Without Chemotherapy vs Cetuximab Plus Chemotherapy in Recurrent or Metastatic HNSCC

As reported in The Lancet by Barbara Burtness, MD, and colleagues, the phase III KEYNOTE-048 trial has shown improved overall survival with first-line pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy vs cetuximab plus chemotherapy among patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and...

Head and Neck Cancer
Skin Cancer

Head and Neck Melanoma in Adolescents and Young Adults: 1995 to 2014

Head and neck melanoma appears to be on the rise in young people in the United States and Canada, according to a study by Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, BDS, PhD, MPH, CHES, of the Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine, and colleagues. Because the prognosis of head and neck melanoma is...

Head and Neck Cancer

Remembering Craig Alguire

It is with great sadness that we report Craig Alguire, MD, 42, died on October 11, 2019, at his home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Diagnosed with grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme in 2015, Dr. Alguire chronicled the effects the cancer was having on his life in his Patient’s Corner column, published in...

Head and Neck Cancer

AACR-NCI-EORTC: Activity of Tipifarnib in Patients With HRAS-Mutant Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

A small phase II study investigating the efficacy and safety of the investigational farnesyl transferase inhibitor tipifarnib in patients with recurrent and metastatic HRAS-mutant head and neck squamous cell carcinoma found the agent produced objective responses in the patient population. Based on...

Head and Neck Cancer
Symptom Management

Superoxide Dismutase Mimetic for Reducing Severe Oral Mucositis From Concurrent Radiotherapy and Cisplatin in Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase IIb trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Anderson et al found that the superoxide dismutase mimetic GC4419 was effective in reducing the duration, incidence, and severity of severe oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer receiving concurrent radiotherapy and...

Head and Neck Cancer
Symptom Management

Superoxide Dismutase Mimetic for Reducing Severe Oral Mucositis From Concurrent Radiotherapy and Cisplatin in Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase IIb trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Anderson et al found that the superoxide dismutase mimetic GC4419 was effective in reducing duration, incidence, and severity of severe oral mucositis in patients with head and neck cancer receiving concurrent radiotherapy and...

Head and Neck Cancer

Swallowing-Related Quality of Life After Radiotherapy vs Surgery for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In the phase II ORATOR trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Anthony Nichols, MD, and colleagues found a statistical but not clinically meaningful improvement in swallowing-related quality of life outcomes 1 year after treatment with radiotherapy vs transoral robotic surgery and neck dissection...

Head and Neck Cancer

Addition of Induction Gemcitabine/Cisplatin to Chemoradiotherapy in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In a Chinese phase III trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Yuan Zhang, MD, PhD, and colleagues found that the addition of gemcitabine/cisplatin induction chemotherapy to standard platinum-based chemoradiotherapy improved recurrence-free survival vs chemoradiotherapy alone in...

Head and Neck Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Effect of Patient General Preference for More vs Less Medical Care on Intensity of Posttreatment Thyroid Cancer Surveillance

In an analysis reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Evron et al found that patients with thyroid cancer who were declared disease-free after initial treatment were more likely to have increased numbers of physician visits and imaging tests if they reported a generalized preference for...

Head and Neck Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Researchers Examine the Rise in HPV-Related Oropharyngeal Cancers

Human papillomavirus (HPV) causes nearly all cervical cancers and is attributed to some cancers of the vagina, vulva, penis, anus, and oropharynx. Although most HPV infections are asymptomatic and usually resolve within 1 to 2 years, persistent infections can lead to precancer and cancer. According ...

Head and Neck Cancer
Geriatric Oncology

ESMO 2019: Personalized Treatment for Head and Neck Cancer Based on Geriatric Assessment

Fit elderly patients aged 70 years and older with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma were able to undergo rigorous treatment that provided benefit similar to that observed in younger patients. However, elderly patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma classified by geriatric assessment ...

Head and Neck Cancer

HPV-Positive Oropharyngeal Cancer Burden Rising Among White Men in the United States

White men older than age 65 will have the greatest burden of oropharyngeal cancer by the year 2030, according to Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, Professor and Endowed Chair at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. But there is some good news, she said at the 2019 Winship Cancer Institute of Emory...

Head and Neck Cancer

Addition of Induction Gemcitabine/Cisplatin to Chemoradiotherapy in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

In a Chinese phase III trial reported in The New England Journal of Medicine, Zhang et al found that the addition of gemcitabine/cisplatin induction chemotherapy to standard platinum-based chemoradiotherapy improved recurrence-free survival vs chemoradiotherapy alone in locoregionally advanced...

head and neck cancer

Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD, on Oropharyngeal Cancer: Deintensifying Radiation Therapy Plus Chemotherapy

Sue Sun Yom, MD, PhD, of the University of California, San Francisco, discusses phase II results showing that swallowing-related quality of life after deintensified chemoradiation therapy may improve in patients with p16-positive, nonsmoking-associated, locoregionally advanced disease (Abstract LBA10).

head and neck cancer

David Routman, MD, on Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma and HPV Circulating Tumor DNA

David Routman, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, discusses his study findings showing that detectable human papillomavirus circulating tumor DNA in the postoperative setting may be linked to disease progression, which may help improve patient selection for treatment intensity (Abstract LBA5).

Head and Neck Cancer
Symptom Management

ASTRO 2019: Machine-Learning Model May Accurately Predict Radiation Side Effects in Patients With Head and Neck Cancers

A study by Reddy et al investigating the use of a machine-learning model to predict which patients with head and neck cancer being treated with radiation may experience significant weight loss, feeding tube placement, and unplanned hospitalization has found that the model accurately identified the...

Head and Neck Cancer

Combination CDK4/6 and EGFR Inhibition in Platinum- and Cetuximab-Resistant HPV-Unrelated Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Douglas Adkins, MD, and colleagues found that the combination of the cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor palbociclib and the EGFR inhibitor cetuximab showed activity in patients with either platinum- or cetuximab-resistant human...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Pembrolizumab in First-Line Treatment of Head/Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

On June 10, 2019, pembrolizumab was approved for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic or unresectable recurrent head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.1,2 Pembrolizumab was approved for use in combination with platinum and fluorouracil (5-FU) for all patients and as a single agent...

Head and Neck Cancer

SITC Publishes First Clinical Immunotherapy Guidelines for Treatment of Head/Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) has published the first clinical immunotherapy guidelines for squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, providing oncologists and other advanced practice providers with a clinical roadmap to treating this disease with immunotherapies approved in...

Head and Neck Cancer

Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, Pioneer in HPV-Related Head and Neck Cancer, Has Often Changed Lanes in Her Career

When The ASCO Post asked physician-scientist Maura L. Gillison, MD, PhD, where she was from, she answered, “North America.” Actually, she was born in Canada, but her father worked for a large international company, so the family moved regularly through Canada, the United States, and Mexico. “I...

head and neck cancer

Swallowing-Related Quality of Life After Radiotherapy vs Surgery for Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In the phase II ORATOR trial reported in The Lancet Oncology, Nichols et al found a statistical but not clinically meaningful improvement in swallowing-related quality of life outcomes 1 year after treatment with radiotherapy vs transoral robotic surgery and neck dissection in patients with...

Head and Neck Cancer

FDA Approves Pembrolizumab for Some Patients With PD-L1–Positive Esophageal Cancer

On July 30, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the programmed cell death protein 1 inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) as monotherapy for the treatment of patients with recurrent locally advanced or metastatic esophageal cancer whose tumors express programmed cell death ligand 1...

head and neck cancer

Deintensified Chemoradiotherapy for HPV-Associated Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In a phase II trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Chera et al found that deintensified chemoradiotherapy produced favorable outcomes in human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma. Study Details In the multicenter trial, 114 patients were recruited...

head and neck cancer

Incidence of HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancers in the United States

In a study by Mahal et al published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, researchers conducted a population-based assessment of the incidence and demographic burden of human papillomavirus (HPV)-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma in the United States. The researchers...

breast cancer
colorectal cancer
head and neck cancer
lung cancer

FDA Approves Entrectinib for NTRK-Fusion Cancers, ROS1-Positive NSCLC

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to entrectinib (Rozlytrek) for adult and adolescent patients whose cancers have an NTRK (neurotrophic tyrosine receptor kinase) genetic fusion and for whom there are no effective treatments. Entrectinib was also...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Remembering Michael D. Becker

The staff of The ASCO Post were sad to learn of the passing of Michael D. Becker on July 9, 2019. When Michael was diagnosed with human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oropharyngeal cancer in 2015, he made the decision to go public with his diagnosis to raise awareness of the importance of having...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Global Coalition for Adaptive Research in Glioblastoma

The Global Coalition for Adaptive Research (GCAR) announced recently that the GBM AGILE clinical trial is opening its first clinical site, the Henry Ford Cancer Institute, and has begun enrolling patients. GBM AGILE is the world’s first global adaptive clinical trial platform for glioblastoma and...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Palbociclib Plus Cetuximab in Platinum- and Cetuximab-Resistant HPV-Unrelated Head and Neck Cancer

In a phase II study reported in The Lancet Oncology, Adkins et al found that the combination of the cyclin-dependent kinase 4/6 (CDK4/6) inhibitor palbociclib and the EGFR inhibitor cetuximab showed activity in patients with either platinum- or cetuximab-resistant human papillomavirus...

head and neck cancer

Long-Term Results of the Omission of Postoperative Radiation to the Pathologically Node-Negative Neck in Primary HNSCC

Long-term results of a single-institution phase II study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Contreras et al showed that the omission of postoperative radiation therapy to the pathologically negative (PN0) neck was associated with good outcomes among patients with primary head and neck...

head and neck cancer
lung cancer
issues in oncology

Do Statins Lower the Risk of Cardiovascular Complications in Patients Treated With Radiotherapy to the Chest, Neck, or Head?

Patients with cancer who took cholesterol-lowering statin medication following radiation therapy of the chest, neck, or head had significantly reduced risk of suffering a stroke—and possibly other cardiovascular complications—according to research published by Boulet et al in...

Head and Neck Cancer

Noninferiority Trial Establishes Chemoradiotherapy Regimen as ‘First Standard of Care for HPV-Positive Oral Cancer’

A noninferiority phase III trial, previously reported in The Lancet, has established the standard of care in human papillomavirus (HPV)-related oral cancer, according to Andy M. Trotti, MD, a radiation oncologist at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Data from the NRG Oncology RTOG 1016 trial ...

Head and Neck Cancer

Actively Recruiting Clinical Trials for Oral, Head, and Neck Cancers

THIS CLINICAL TRIALS Resource Guide includes actively recruiting clinical studies that focus on different techniques; treatments; and technology for oral, head, and neck cancers. More specifically, these trials are evaluating different drug combination regimens for both tumor treatment and pain...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Synergistic Relationship Between Radiotherapy and Immunotherapy for Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

Recent technologic improvements in radiotherapy now offer an unprecedented opportunity to enhance immune response, and going forward, may play a role in the definitive treatment of head and neck cancer, according to William Stokes, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at...

Immunotherapy
Head and Neck Cancer

Immune Therapies Emerging in Disease-Specific Treatment of HPV-Positive Head and Neck Cancer

Patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-related head and neck cancer stand to benefit greatly from immunotherapy, according to Nabil F. Saba, MD, FACP, Director, Head and Neck Medical Oncology Program, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, Atlanta. He added, immunotherapy will likely play...

Head and Neck Cancer
Immunotherapy

Expert Point of View: Vanita Noronha, MD

The KEYNOTE-048 trial is practice-changing, according to its invited discussant, Vanita Noronha, MD, Professor of Oncology at Tata Memorial Centre in Mumbai, India. Although a number of questions remain to be answered, she said the take-home message is that the study “met most of its primary...

Head and Neck Cancer

Improved Survival Shown With First-Line Pembrolizumab in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In the final analysis of KEYNOTE-048, first-line pembrolizumab monotherapy led to a significant improvement in overall survival, vs standard chemotherapy with targeted therapy (EXTREME regimen), in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma expressing programmed...

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 approved for...

Head and Neck Cancer

Oral HPV DNA Persistence and Disease Progression in Oral Cavity and Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinoma

In a two-institution study reported in JAMA Oncology, Carole Fakhry, MD, and colleagues 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...

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...

Immunotherapy
Head and Neck Cancer

Head and Neck Cancer Immunotherapy in Locally Advanced Disease: Clinical Trial Updates

Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) inhibitors are approved for the second-line treatment of head and neck cancer and likely will be soon in the first-line treatment of locally advanced disease. According to Robert L. Ferris, MD, PhD, developments in immunotherapy for this population should be...

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