Erbitux Approved for New Use in Head and Neck Cancer

The US Food and Drug Administration has expanded the approval of Erbitux® (cetuximab) to include the initial treatment, in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy, of selected patients with recurrent or metastatic squamous cell head and neck cancer. Head and neck cancers originate in the tissues in or around the mouth, nose, and throat. Risk factors for […]

HPV Vaccine Recommended for Boys

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended that boys be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV). Human papillomaviruses (HPV) consist of more than 100 different viruses. Some types of HPV cause warts on the hands or feet, others cause genital warts, and some have been […]

Chemotherapy During Pregnancy Not Linked with Developmental Problems in Kids

According to a study presented at the 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress, children born to women who received chemotherapy during pregnancy do not appear to have an increased risk of heart or cognitive problems. Since relatively few women are diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy, data regarding the effects of chemotherapy during pregnancy are limited. Determining […]

Clinical Trial Participation Is Inadequate

A large proportion of cancer patients do not enroll in clinical trials, and those who do participate may not adequately represent age groups, cancer stages, cancer types, and racial and ethnic groups. These findings were recently reported in the Annals of Surgery. Clinical trials are the process through which medications ultimately become approved by the […]

Laser Therapy Reduces Oral Mucositis in Head and Neck Cancer

The use of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) may reduce the incidence and severity of oral mucositis caused by chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy among patients with head and neck cancer. These results were presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Treatment for head and neck cancer typically includes radiation […]

Study Evaluates Whole-brain Radiation Following Surgery or Radiosurgery in Cancer Spread to the Brain

Results from a randomized Phase III study indicate that whole-brain radiation therapy (WBRT) following removal of one to three brain metastases with surgery or radiosurgery does not improve overall survival or duration of functional independence but does reduce recurrence of brain metastases. These findings were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.[1] One common […]

Study Evaluates Incidence of Lymphedema Resulting from Cancer Treatment

A systematic review of 47 studies evaluating treatment for melanoma, head and neck cancer, genitourinary cancers, gynecologic cancers, and sarcoma indicates that lymphedema is a common side effect of treatment for these diseases. These findings were recently published in the journal Cancer.[1] Lymphedema is the buildup of lymph fluid in the tissues just under the […]

Mixed Findings on Combination Therapy for Nasopharyngeal Cancer

Results of a Phase III trial indicate that treating nasopharyngeal cancer with a combination of radiation and chemotherapy can significantly reduce disease progression but that the combination may also increase the rate of death from other causes. These findings were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The nasopharynx is the area above […]

Chemotherapy plus Radiation Doubles Survival Time in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

The addition of chemotherapy to radiation therapy doubles median survival time as well as event-free survival in patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer who have not undergone surgery, according to the results of a study published in the Lancet Oncology.[1] Head and neck cancers originate in the oral cavity (lip, mouth, tongue), salivary […]

Uninsured Have Worse Head and Neck Cancer Survival

Even after accounting for stage at diagnosis and several other prognostic factors, head and neck cancer patients who are uninsured or covered by Medicaid or Medicare disability (Medicare under age 65) have worse survival than patients with private insurance. These results were published in Cancer. Head and neck cancers originate in the tissues in or […]