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Perspectives in Head and Neck Medical Oncology

  • Idoroenyi Amanam
  • Rohan Gupta
  • Alain Mita
  • Kevin Scher
  • Erminia Massarelli
Chapter
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 174)

Abstract

The modern treatment of locoregionally advanced disease often requires a multimodality combination approach. A number of chemotherapeutic agents can be combined with radiation, but the platinum agent cisplatin, a potent radiation sensitizer, is best studied in head and neck cancer. Newer agents such as cetuximab can be used in combination with radiation therapy for those patients who cannot tolerate cisplatin. For chemotherapy-naïve patients with metastatic head and neck cancer who demonstrate a good performance status, platinum doublet regimens are commonly used. Doublet regimens generally improve response rates compared to single-agent chemotherapies, although they have not demonstrated a survival benefit over single agents and they have added toxicity. Immunotherapies, alternative cytotoxic chemotherapies, and targeted therapies are second-line options for patients with disease that has progressed on platinum-based therapy. Immunotherapy, in particular, has gained focus by enhancing the ability of the immune system to recognize and destroy malignant cells. When multimodal approaches are used, as in combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy, toxicities are increased. It is imperative that patients are followed closely in order to maximize treatment benefit while minimizing complications.

Keywords

Head and neck Cisplatin Nivolumab Pembrolizumab Carboplatin Docetaxel Paclitaxel Nab-paclitaxel Fluorouracil Methotrexate Cetuximab Squamous cell carcinoma HPV 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Idoroenyi Amanam
    • 1
  • Rohan Gupta
    • 1
  • Alain Mita
    • 2
  • Kevin Scher
    • 2
  • Erminia Massarelli
    • 1
  1. 1.City of Hope National Medical CenterDuarteUSA
  2. 2.Cedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA

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