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head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

KEYNOTE-048: Pembrolizumab Monotherapy in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

The phase III KEYNOTE-048 trial, which is investigating pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for first-line treatment of recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), met a primary endpoint of overall survival (OS) as monotherapy in patients whose tumors expressed programmed cell death ...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Study Finds Gender Disparities in Head and Neck Cancer Treatment and Outcomes

An analysis of cancer registry data from a California hospital system showed that women with head and neck cancer were less likely to receive intensive chemotherapy (35% vs 46%) and radiation (60% vs 70%) compared to men. Controlling for factors such as age and serious medical conditions, a...

head and neck cancer
immunotherapy

Pazopanib Plus Cetuximab in Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

As reported in The Lancet Oncology by Adkins et al, the addition of the angiogenesis inhibitor pazopanib (Votrient) to cetuximab (Erbitux) in a phase Ib and expansion cohort study showed activity in patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In the...

head and neck cancer

Adding Motolimod to Standard Chemotherapy and Cetuximab in Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Head and Neck

In a phase II trial (Active8) reported in JAMA Oncology, Ferris et al found that the addition of the toll-like receptor 8 (TLR8) agonist motolimod to platinum-fluorouracil plus cetuximab (Erbitux) did not improve progression-free survival among all patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer
Issues in Oncology

Socioeconomic and Racial Disparities in Management of Brain Metastases

Increasing use of a potentially life-saving treatment for metastatic cancer is leaving many vulnerable patients behind, according to a new study from Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital published by Benjamin H. Kann, MD, of Yale University School of Medicine, and colleagues in the Journal of ...

head and neck cancer

Addition of Concurrent Chemotherapy to EGFR Inhibitor and Radiotherapy in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Carcinoma

As reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology by Tao et al, the phase III GORTEC (Groupe Oncologie Radiothèrapie Tête et Cou) 2007-01 trial has shown improved progression-free survival with the addition of concurrent chemotherapy to cetuximab (Erbitux) and radiotherapy (RT) in...

Solid Tumors
Head and Neck Cancer

Esomeprazole With Aspirin in Patients With Barrett’s Esophagus

An updated analysis of a randomized phase III trial showed that taking a high dose of esomeprazole with low-dose aspirin for at least 7 years may moderately reduce the risk of developing high-grade dysplasia or esophageal cancer and may delay death from any cause in people with Barrett’s esophagus. ...

head and neck cancer
survivorship

Male Thyroid Cancer Survivors Face 50% Higher Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Than Women

Male thyroid cancer survivors have a nearly 50% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than women within 5 years of cancer diagnosis, according to a new study published by Park et al in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. More than 62,000 new cases of thyroid cancer...

Head and Neck Cancer

Expert Point of View: Bruce Johnson, MD, FASCO

ASCO PRESIDENT Bruce E. Johnson, MD, FASCO, commented on these study findings during the press briefing.  “This study adds to a growing body of knowledge showing the value of integrating patient-reported outcomes into routine oncology practice for symptom monitoring that a wide variety of our...

Head and Neck Cancer

Mobile and Sensor Technology May Lead to Reduced Symptoms of Head and Neck Cancer and Its Treatment

A RANDOMIZED clinical trial evaluating the use of mobile and sensor technology to remotely monitor symptoms in patients receiving radiation therapy for head and neck cancer found that use of this technology reduced the severity of symptoms related to cancer and its treatment compared with usual...

Solid Tumors
Skin Cancer
Head and Neck Cancer

Dabrafenib Plus Trametinib for Thyroid Cancer, Melanoma With BRAF Mutations

On May 4, 2018, dabrafenib (Tafinlar) and trametinib (Mekinist) in combination was granted approval for treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic anaplastic thyroid cancer with BRAF V600E mutation and no satisfactory locoregional treatment options.1-3 Dabrafenib is not indicated for ...

head and neck cancer

Manisha H. Shah, MD, on Thyroid Cancer: Advances in Precision Medicine

Manisha H. Shah, MD, of The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, summarizes a session she chaired on progress in tailored treatments for medullary and anaplastic thyroid cancers as well as salivary gland cancer.

head and neck cancer

Jed A. Katzel, MD, on Head and Neck Cancer: Findings on Treatment of Female Patients

Jed A. Katzel, MD, of Kaiser Permanente, discusses his team’s findings on the disparities in head and neck cancer treatment for women and the possible missed opportunities to take a more aggressive and beneficial approach (Abstract LBA6002).

head and neck cancer
issues in oncology

2018 ASCO: Gender Disparities in Head and Neck Cancer Treatment and Outcomes

An analysis of cancer registry data from a California hospital system showed that women with head and neck cancer were less likely to receive intensive chemotherapy (35% vs 46%) and radiation (60% vs 70%) compared to men. Controlling for factors such as age and serious medical conditions, a...

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 Allen S. Ho, MD, of the Samuel...

Head and Neck Cancer

Once-Weekly vs Every-3-Week Cisplatin Chemoradiation in Locally Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

In an Indian phase III trial reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vanita Noronha, MD, of Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, and colleagues found that curative-intent adjuvant chemoradiation with cisplatin at 100 mg/m2 every 3 weeks produced better locoregional control vs cisplatin at 30...

Head and Neck Cancer

Circulating Tumor DNA May Guide Treatment Intensity in Advanced HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancers

A MULTI-INSTITUTIONAL analysis of circulating tumor DNA extracted from the plasma of patients has shown that human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) DNA is detectable in the majority of cases of favorable-risk HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma and may be a clinically useful...

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...

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