Treatment paradigms are shifting for locally advanced HPV-positive head and neck cancers

Source: www.onclive.com Authors: Kaveh Zakeri, MD, MAS, Nancy Y. Lee, MD The standard of care for patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinomas does not substantially differ according to human papillomavirus (HPV) status in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines.1 Resectable tumors can be treated with surgery followed by adjuvant therapy. Alternatively, definitive chemoradiation therapy with cisplatin is the other dominant treatment paradigm. Incidence of HPV-associated oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma has increased rapidly and is associated with higher overall survival (OS) compared with cancers caused by smoking and alcohol.2,3 Given the unique biology of HPV-associated oropharyngeal disease, a separate staging system was developed for these tumors.4 HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancers are more radiosensitive and chemosensitive than cancers caused by smoking and alcohol, yet the traditional treatment paradigms—including high doses of radiation and chemotherapy—were developed prior to the epidemic of HPV-associated disease. De-escalation of therapy has been proposed for HPV-associated oropharyngeal cancer based on data demonstrating high OS and progression-free survival (PFS).5 De-escalation of therapy has been investigated for both definitive surgical and chemoradiation therapy paradigms. Most de-escalated approaches focus on selecting patients according to clinical features, such as disease stage and smoking status, whereas personalized de-escalation reduces treatment intensity for patients according to treatment response. Transoral Robotic Surgery Followed by Adjuvant Radiotherapy Transoral robotic surgery (TORS) is a minimally invasive approach that reduces morbidity compared with traditional, open surgery for patients with oropharyngeal cancers. TORS is a standard of care option for patients with resectable tonsil or base [...]

2021-11-23T08:16:08-07:00November, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Checkpoint inhibitors whiff in head and neck cancer trials

Source: www.medpagetoday.com Author: Charles Bankhead Three different checkpoint inhibitors missed the primary endpoints in separate randomized trials of head and neck cancer. In one trial, adding avelumab (Bavencio) to standard treatment did not significantly improve progression-free survival (PFS) in cisplatin-eligible or ineligible patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In another trial, the combination of nivolumab (Opdivo) and ipilimumab (Yervoy) did not improve overall survival (OS) as first-line treatment for recurrent/metastatic HNSCC. Both trials were reported during the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) virtual meeting. Although subgroup analyses suggested benefits for certain patients, neither study should influence clinical practice at this point, said ESMO invited discussant Amanda Psyrri, MD, of the University of Athens in Greece. In the avelumab study, known as GORTEC-REACH, results in cisplatin-eligible patients were consistent with those of the previously reported JAVELIN trial with avelumab, said Psyrri. A signal of benefit was evident in cisplatin-ineligible patients but did not achieve statistical significance. With regard to the CheckMate 651 trial of nivolumab and ipilimumab, Psyrri said, "Combined PD-1 and CTLA-4 inhibition does not appear to be an effective strategy in recurrent/metastatic HNSCC. Future research efforts may identify predictive biomarkers for response to anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 combinations in HNSCC." Additionally, a smaller trial of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) showed no significant improvement in OS versus chemotherapy for platinum-treated relapsed/metastatic nasopharyngeal carcinoma. GORTEC-REACH This trial evolved from evidence of potential synergy with PD-1/L1 inhibition, cetuximab (Erbitux), and radiotherapy, said Jean Bourhis, MD, of University Hospital Center [...]

2021-09-24T06:54:20-07:00September, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy issues: What audiologists need to know

Source: journals.lww.com Author: A. Croutch, Carl AuD With hearing loss, tinnitus, and imbalance as among the numerous side-effects of cancer treatment,1 audiologists play a critical role in monitoring patients receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) attributed to chemotherapy and radiation therapy is usually permanent, making audiometric monitoring essential to detect its early occurrence.2 Cisplatin, carboplatin & radiation therapy Chemotherapy is used to treat cancer, control the growth and spread of cancer cells, and ease cancer symptoms. Cisplatin and carboplatin are two common antineoplastic agents used to treat testicular, ovarian, breast, esophageal, lung, and head and neck cancers among others. Besides hearing loss, these can cause other side effects including kidney, gastrointestinal disorders, allergic reactions, decreased immunity to infections, and hemorrhaging. Cisplatin was first found to have cytotoxic properties in the 1960s, and in 1978 was the first platinum compound approved by the FDA for cancer treatment.3 On the other hand, carboplatin is less potent than cisplatin and does have fewer side effects, especially on kidney problems.3 Both drugs work by interfering with DNA repair mechanisms causing DNA damage and inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. Cancerous cells cannot limit cell division as do normal cells. Normal cells cease dividing when they encounter similar cells whereas cancerous cells do not. The effectiveness of chemotherapy is determined by its ability to damage the RNA or DNA that gives the cell instructions to copy itself. The cells will die if they are unable to divide. The more quickly they are dividing, [...]

2021-09-09T06:48:49-07:00September, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Calls grow for treatment deintensification of HPV-positive OPC

Source: ww.pharmacytimes.com Author: Bryan Fitzgerald, PharmD, BCOP Health-System Edition, July 2021, Volume 10, Issue 4 Oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) is a type of head and neck cancer that affects structures in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue, the posterior pharynx, the soft palate, and the tonsils.1 In the United States, rates of OPC are increasing each year, with an estimated 54,010 new cases in 2021.2 Well-established risk factors include alcohol abuse; exposure to tobacco, including chewing tobacco, cigarettes, and pipes; and infection with human papillomavirus (HPV). With an estimated 43 million infections in 2018, HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States.3 HPV infection is causally linked with cancers of the anogenital region, including anal, cervical, penile, vaginal, and vulvar cancers. When HPV is spread orally, infections can also lead to the development of OPC. In the United States, more than 70% of OPC cases are caused by HPV.4 HPV is a group of more than 100 viruses, including certain high-risk strains associated with the development of cancer. The HPV-16 strain is responsible for causing the majority of HPV-positive (HPV+) OPC cases, with HPV-18, HPV-33, and HPV-35 also contributing, albeit significantly less than HPV-16.1 In these high-risk HPV strains, the viral genome encodes several oncogenic proteins that inhibit tumor suppressor proteins, leading to chromosomal instability and malignancy in infected cells. HPV+ OPC is considered a genetically distinct form of OPC. Compared with HPV-negative (HPC–) OPC cases, HPV+ OPC is associated with a [...]

‘On the rise:’ Immunotherapy options for head and neck cancer

Source: www.curetoday.com Author: Kristie L. Kahl On behalf of the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, Dr. Michael Moore spoke with CURE® about emerging therapies that potentially offer exciting new options for the future. Although rates of head and neck cancer have risen, in part because of the human papillomavirus (HPV), emerging therapies such as targeted agents and immunotherapies are paving the way for future treatment of the disease, according to Dr. Michael Moore. “I would say (immunotherapy) is probably one of the more exciting parts of what we’ve learned about head and neck cancer in recent years,” he told CURE® as a part of its “Speaking Out” video series. On behalf of the Head and Neck Cancer Alliance, CURE® spoke with Moore, associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and chief of head and neck surgery at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, about targeted therapies, immunotherapy and how clinical trials are leading the way for future treatments. How have genomics and targeted therapies played a role in head and neck cancer treatment? Well, I would say it’s an emerging role. And it’s not used as commonly in head-neck cancer as it is in some other areas. So molecular testing or targeted therapies essentially are looking at a very specific part of the tumor to see if we can develop a specific drug that will target just that; (the goal is to) weaken the cancer’s defense — that is one way to say it — and try to very [...]

On treating advanced head and neck cancer without cisplatin – an oncology grand rounds discussion

Source: www.medpagetoday.com Author: Mark L. Fuerst An oncology grand rounds discussion with Sachin Jhawar, MD. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) represents a heterogeneous set of diseases with different features and treatment recommendations. Physicians face challenges in initial treatment decision-making and response assessments, including the changing role of surgery, the incorporation of human papilloma and Epstein Barr virus status, as well as the potential for treatment de-escalation using patient-related and tumor-related factors. A recent "Oncology Grand Rounds" article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology provides an overview of treating advanced HNSCC when cisplatin is not an option, including concurrent chemotherapy, cetuximab, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. In the following interview, the paper's lead author, Sachin Jhawar, MD, of Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center in Columbus, reviews the main issues. What is the focus of the article? Jhawar: We focused on patients with locally advanced disease who would be receiving definitive non-surgical treatment when possible treatment with concurrent cisplatin, delivered either every 3 weeks or weekly, is always the preferred treatment. We specifically wanted to delve into the subset of patients who we would not recommend to receive cisplatin because of age or comorbidities. This could be concurrent chemotherapy (carboplatin/paclitaxel), concurrent cetuximab, and altered or standard fractionation radiation schedules without systemic therapy, as well as when to consider immunotherapy and palliative radiation for those with recurrent or metastatic disease. There is also a great deal of institutional preference involved. At our institution, we prefer concurrent carboplatin/paclitaxel in patients who cannot [...]

Experts release new guidelines for studies into most effective treatments for HPV-positive throat cancer

Source: en.brinkwire.com Author: provided by University of Birmingham, United Kingdom Heightened caution is needed when considering de-escalation trials for patients with Human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive oropharyngeal cancer (OPC), to ensure minimal harm to patients, new guidelines from a group of international head and neck cancer experts have suggested. HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer is a cancer of the throat caused by the human papillomavirus—a common, but symptomless group of sexually transmitted viruses. Instances of many throat and neck cancers have declined as smoking rates have fallen, whereas HPV-positive OPC has increased, largely affecting younger patients. The standard course of treatment for this disease is a combination of cisplatin (a common chemotherapy drug) and radiotherapy. The younger age of the patient population, significantly improved prognosis, and relatively minimal morbidities caused by the standard treatment pathway have led to the popularisation of the concept of treatment de-escalation as a way to improve the quality of life of patients by reducing dosage or frequency of treatment. These new recommendations, published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology have been created by the Head and Neck Cancer International Group, a group of experts from nineteen countries, led by the University of Birmingham, UK. The guidelines have been prompted by the recent results of the first three randomised de-escalation trials which suggested a clear detriment in survival when cisplatin is omitted or substituted to minimise side effects. After a review of available HPV-positive OPC literature, the guidelines recommend an overall need for caution when considering de-escalation options, even [...]

FDA grants fast track designation to NBTXR3 in locally advanced head and neck cancers

Source: www.targetedonc.com Author: Nichole Tucker An FDA Fast Track Designation was granted to the first-in-class radioenhancer NBTXR3 with or without cetuximab (Erbitux) for the treatment of patients with locally advanced head and neck squamous cell cancer who are not eligible for platinum-based chemotherapy, according to a press release from Nanobiotix.1 NBTXR3 showed preliminary signals of antitumor activity in this patient population in a phase I study of 12 patients with advanced-stage head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Specifically, 10 of the 11 evaluable patients had a complete response (CR) or a partial response to treatment, which included 2 CRs at dose levels ≤10% and 5 CRs at dose levels >10%.2 Treatment with NBTXR3 was also found to be safe and tolerable in patients with HNSCC. There were no serious adverse events or dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs) observed, which allowed patients to continue with their treatment as planned. The adverse events found to be related to injection with NBTXR3 included grade 1/2 injection pain and tumor hemorrhage. Patients in the study received either a single intratumor injection or single-arterial injection of NBTXR3 on day 1 followed by intensity-modulated radiation therapy 2 hours later, which lasted for up to 7 weeks. Radiotherapy was continued in all patients unless their tumor did not shrink by 50% of the baseline size. Those patients who did achieve the tumor shrinkage goals then received salvage tumor surgery. The primary end point of the study was the determination of the recommended dose of the drug and early [...]

2020-02-11T08:31:16-07:00February, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

Standard chemotherapy treatment for HPV-positive throat cancer remains the most effective, study finds

Source: www.eurekalert.org Author: press release, University of Birmingham A new study funded by Cancer Research UK and led by the University of Birmingham has found that the standard chemotherapy used to treat a specific type of throat cancer remains the most effective. The findings of the trial, which aimed to compare for the first time the outcomes of using two different kinds of treatment for patients with Human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive throat cancer, are published today (November 15th) in The Lancet. Throat cancer is one of the fastest rising cancers in Western countries. In the UK, incidence was unchanged between 1970 and 1995, then doubled between 1996 and 2006, and doubled again between 2006 and 2010. The rise has been attributed to HPV, which is often a sexually transmitted infection. Most throat cancers were previously caused by smoking and alcohol and affected 65 to 70 year old working class men. Today, HPV is the main cause of throat cancer and patients are middle class, working, have young children and are aged around 55. HPV-positive throat cancer responds well to a combination of cisplatin chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and patients can survive for 30 to 40 years, but the treatment causes lifelong side effects including dry mouth, difficulty swallowing, and loss of taste. The De-ESCALaTE HPV study, which was sponsored by the University of Warwick, compared the side effects and survival of 164 patients who were treated with radiotherapy and cisplatin, and 162 who were given radiotherapy and cetuximab. The patients were enrolled [...]

2018-11-16T09:36:03-07:00November, 2018|Oral Cancer News|

No De-escalation of Therapy for HPV+ Throat Cancer

Source: www.medscape.com Author: Alexander M. Castellino, PhD Another trial has shown that de-escalating therapy does not work in patients with good prognosis human papillomavirus-positive (HPV+) oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma or throat cancers. Results from the De-ESCALaTE HPV study show that using the targeted drug cetuximab with radiotherapy does not improve side effects and, more importantly, has worse survival compared with the standard of care — chemotherapy with cisplatin and radiotherapy. The finding echoes the results from the US National Cancer Institute's Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 1016 trial, the top-line results of which were released earlier this year, and details of which were presented this week at the American Society of Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2018 meeting. "Do not change your clinical practice of using cisplatin with radiotherapy in these patients," cautioned Hisham Mehanna, MBChB, PhD, chair of head and neck surgery at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and lead investigator of the De-ESCALaTe study. He presented the results during a presidential session here at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress (abstract LBA9). "Cetuximab did not cause less toxicity and resulted in worse overall survival and more cancer recurrence than cisplatin. This was a surprise — we thought it would lead to the same survival rates but better toxicity. Patients with throat cancer who are HPV+ should be given cisplatin, and not cetuximab, where possible," Mehanna said in a statement. Hope for Fewer Side Effects Cetuximab with radiation is already approved by the US Food and Drug [...]

2018-10-28T11:45:33-07:00October, 2018|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|
Go to Top