Targeted therapy in addition to radiation may be a viable approach to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, although more research is needed before such treatment becomes part of the standard of care, according to experts interviewed for this article.
Explore this issue:May 2006
For example, a new study (N Engl J Med. 354;6:567-578) found that concomitant high-dose radiotherapy plus cetuximab, a monoclonal antibody targeting the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), improves locoregional control and reduces mortality in patients with head and neck cancer without increasing the common toxic effects associated with radiotherapy.
One of the study’s implications is that physicians now have a biologic treatment for patients with head and neck cancer, said one of the study authors Roger B. Cohen, MD, Director of the Phase I Clinical Trials Program at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pa. Incidentally, this is the first new therapy for the disease in more than 30 years, added Dr. Cohen, who was with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Tex., at the time of the study.| | | Next → | Single Page