Head and Neck Cancer

Current National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend initiating radiation therapy within 6 weeks of tumor resection, but the benefits of shorter time to radiation therapy, including locoregional control and survival, remain inconclusive.

According to data presented at the 2018 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancers Symposium, a shorter interval from surgery to the start of radiation therapy has been linked to improved survival in patients with head and neck cancers.

Patients with head and neck cancer are at a high risk for malnutrition, but use of a best practice model for nutritional support can improve outcomes and address unmet needs.
Proper attention to dental care for patients with head and neck cancer can mean the difference between a good functional outcome and a poor one, according to a dental oncologist and nurse who described dental oncology at the Oncology Nursing Society 41st Annual Congress.
Scottsdale, AZ—Therapeutic, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) reduces pain and accelerates the resolution of oral mucositis (OM) in patients with head and neck cancer receiving chemoradiotherapy (CRT), according to Eric Allan, MD.
Scottsdale, AZ—The superoxide dismutase mimetic GC4419 markedly reduced the incidence, intensity, and duration of severe oral mucositis in a study of patients with head and neck cancer.
Scottsdale, AZ—Patients with oropharyngeal cancer undergoing radiation therapy experienced diminished narcotic dependency and weight loss with the use of prophylactic gabapentin.
Comprehensive genetic analysis by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) identified 4 different subtypes of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN).

Sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy, a common procedure to determine whether melanoma has spread, can be utilized safely and effectively even with tumors in the head and neck area according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

SLN biopsy is routinely offered to patients with melanoma meeting or exceeding a certain size. However, many surgeons believed the intricate anatomy combined with the crucial nerves and blood vessels in the head and neck area created an unsafe and inaccurate setting for an SLN biopsy of that region.

Concomitant chemotherapy with reirradiation offers a cure for select patients with recurrent head and neck cancer in a previously irradiated area. With the findings of 2-year survival in 25% of patients, the researchers noted the importance of choosing the correct patients for this therapy. Previous concurrent chemoradiotherapy was associated with poor survival outcomes. In addition, there was significant risk of sever toxicity, with 20% of patients experiencing treatment-related death.

 

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