Head and Neck Cancer

  • Xospata Extends Overall Survival in Patients with FLT3 Mutation–Positive Relapsed or Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Published Results from KEYNOTE-048 Trial Show Extended Survival with Keytruda in Advanced Head and Neck Cancers
  • Discussing Costs of Genomic Testing with Patients
San Francisco, CA—The increasing rate of infection with the human papilloma­virus (HPV) in the United States has changed the field of head and neck cancer, or oral cancer, and HPV infection now causes a growing majority (70%-90%) of oropharyngeal squamous-cell carcinomas. As its incidence is rising, so is patients’ curiosity about what sets this cancer apart from other malignancies.

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.

Eric Allan, MD, discusses the clinical significance of his research and case study, “Low-Level Laser Therapy Reduces Pain in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer.”
Carryn Anderson, MD, discusses the clinical significance of her research on, “Severe Oral Mucositis Less Frequent, Briefer, Less Severe with Use of GC4419.”
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.

North America is facing a shortage of certain drugs, and you do not have to be a pharmacist buyer tasked with procurement to realize our drug supply is under pressure. Governmental and professional groups—including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), Association of Community Cancer Center, and American Pharmacists Associ ation, among others—have been stating that this is a serious problem that may not be resolved anytime soon.

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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