If you see patients with early-stage oral cavity cancer, consider referring them to clinical trial NRG-HN006. Eligible patients will have a pathologically proven diagnosis of squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity, including the oral tongue, floor of mouth, mucosal lip, buccal mucosa, lower alveolar ridge, upper alveolar ridge, retromolar gingiva, or hard palate.
“It’s important for us as a specialty to accrue to cancer trials, because the more people we can accrue, the faster we can answer questions about cancer management, and the faster we’ll be able to improve survival rates,” said Stephen S. Chang, MD, director of the Head and Neck Cancer Program at the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit and a co-chair of the study. All patients who enroll in the study will receive a PET/CT scan prior to randomization.
Enrolled patients will be randomized to one of two groups: Group One will undergo sentinel lymph node biopsy; Group Two, elective neck dissection. Patients will be assessed three weeks after surgery, then every three months for the first year, every four months for the second year, every six months for the third year, and yearly for the rest of their lives.